In an unlikely turn of events, video games are bringing the family together, according to one study.

Researchers from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life said girls between the ages of 11 and 16 who played video games with their parents felt better connected to them.

The surprising part about this for me is that girls don't play video games as much as boys. But they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did, said Sarah Coyne, associate professor of family life at Brigham Young University and lead author of the study, in a statement.

For the study, Coyne and her co-author Laura Padilla-Walker surveyed 287 families with an adolescent child. Unless the game was rated M for mature, girls were found to play video games mostly because of the family connection. For boys, playing with a parent did not test similarly compared to the other measurements which included positive behavior, aggression and mental health.

We're guessing it's a daddy-daughter thing, because not a lot of moms said yes when we asked them if they played video game. Co-playing is probably an indicator of larger levels of involvement, said Padilla-Walker, in a statement.

The researchers also said boys played with the friends far more often than girls, and this is perhaps why the family connection factor wasn't as strong with them. Regardless, the researchers say this dispels the notion that constant video games playing can lead poor relationships with family and friends.

Any face-to-face time you have with your child can be a positive thing, especially if the activity is something the child is interested in, Padilla-Walker said.


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