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Teen Girls Who Play Video Games With Parents Are Less Depressed

Posted on Feb 2, 2011
Lelê Breveglieri (CC-BY)

According to a new study, girls 11-16 years old who play video games with their parents are less depressed and, in the words of this Bloomberg report, “generally better behaved” than those who don’t. Apparently “Rock Band” creates Stepford children.


Girls who play video games with their parents are generally better behaved and showed lower rates of depression than those who don’t, according to a study.

The benefit, reported in the Journal of Adolescent Health, wasn’t seen in boys, possibly because males spend less time gaming with their families than they did playing video games alone or with friends, the authors said.

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By regencychess, February 13, 2012 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

I am going to give this a shot and try to engage my daughter in some interactive chess with me. She has been looking down recently, and nothing I do seems to make it go away. Thanks for sharing this information, will report back if it works!

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By samosamo, February 4, 2011 at 4:11 am Link to this comment


I am still not convinced that ‘modern’ technology replaces the
unique value of life experience. For one thing, and enron proved
this, when the power is shut off, just what do you do. There is a
fundamental gap when relying on t.v., computers, cell phones or
any myriad of what is mostly redundant and repackaged
technology for ‘instruments of learning’ that doesn’t make up for
what can’t be related in video games.

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Egomet Bonmot's avatar

By Egomet Bonmot, February 4, 2011 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

And in a related study, girls who watch paint dry with their parents are less depressed
than those who don’t.

Honestly, how is it that *Truthdig* of all places constantly falls for these industry shill-

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By AnnaCatherine, February 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I call B.S. on this study. Like comments before mine, children like to do lots of things with their parents. To single out video games is too limiting. And to claim that they are better behaved and fewer of them depressed has no basis whatever. How many 11-16 year olds were included in this survey?  Sorry, I need a lot more info to be convinced.

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By Deirdre, February 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

After a great deal of initial hesitation, I bought my 12 year old daughter her first videogame, The “Legend Of Zelda, Ocarina of Time”. I had heard of kids isolating themselves in their rooms playing these games, so I decided to be with her while she played. I encouraged her to solve puzzles, defeat monsters, and figure out the storylines. She also loved to draw, so I would ask for commissioned art examples of the characters she saw on the screen. Her drawing ability became more and more adept with each ‘commission’ I requested.

During her teenage years she drew comic book stories for me with intricate panels, stories, and dialogue. They were all based on videogame characters, especially Lara Croft.

She also loved to read, and I encouraged her to do so. I made requests for characters from the books.

Her teenage years were not marred by tantrums, depression, or hiding emotions. She was not what I would call a ‘stepford child’. She was just a happy, creative kid.

In high school she learned about the Art Institute and wanted to attend after graduation.

She is 23 now and is in her second year as a storyboard artist for an animation studio in Burbank. She is well respected in her field, especially for her tender age.

Yes, doing *anything* with your child will foster communication. But so many kids love videogames, it would behoove parents to play with their children. It doesn’t mean actually playing the game, just watching and commenting is enough. Yes, it takes several hours a day, but it pays off in the end. It’s so easy to let a kid just play in his or her room alone, while the parents pursue their own lives. But the alternative is so much better in the long run.

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By Victoria, February 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Robespierr115:

Were you a girl whose parents raised you only with videogames? Your use of the
word ‘who’s’ instead of ‘whose’ indicates a need for a refresher course in English

Referring to people as ‘total idiots’ is just plain nasty and immature.

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By Robespierre115, February 3, 2011 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Girls who’s parents raise them with videogames as their only valuable home activity (no books or interest in the arts) also tend to be total idiots…that’s another issue of course.

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By David, February 3, 2011 at 1:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well of course. Teen girls who are willing to do *anything* with their parents are probably less depressed. Or for that matter, parents who are willing to do fun stuff with their teen daughters probably have daughters that are better adjusted. I really doubt this has anything to do with video games, and everything to do with intact families being a good thing.

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