Apparently a nagging style of parenting coupled with little supervision goes hand in hand with kids playing video games more.

The new study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is one of the first to link parental behavior to kids’ video game playing.

Michigan State University researchers surveyed more than 500 students from 20 middle schools and found that the more children perceived their parents’ behavior as negative (e.g., “nags a lot”) and the less monitoring parents did, the more the children played video games.

The discovery opens the door for follow-up studies on what drives video game behavior, said lead researcher Linda Jackson, Ph.D.

“Does a parent’s negative interactions with their child drive the child into the world of video games, perhaps to escape the parent’s negativity?” said Jackson, professor of psychology. “Or, alternatively, does video game playing cause the child to perceive his or her relationship with the parent as negative?”

Another possibility is that there could be another characteristic of the child that’s responsible for the relationship between perceptions of parent negativity and video game playing, she said.

Further, an equally interesting question is the relationship between video game playing and actual rather than perceived behavior of parents.

That is, perceptions are not always correct, and according to Jackson, this may be the case in the child-parent relationship.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the 2011 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications.

Source: Michigan State University