An Iowa State University professor has found the relationships mothers and fathers have with their kids have an influence on whether those kids play violent video games.
“The warmer the relationship, the more communication they have with their kids, the less likely they are to play violent video games,” says Russell Laczniak, a marketing professor at ISU.
Laczniak has been collaborating with professors at the University of Nebraska, Kansas State and Utah State. If kids are already playing violent video games, their research shows parents can reduce that level of play.
“They’re what we call restrictive parents,” he says. “If parents are more restrictive and try to set rules, kids will just generally abide by them and play less.”
The research also evaluated the video game habits of kids who have anxious and emotional parents.
“It’s the degree to which parents really get attached and get emotional in terms of their involvement with kids,” Laczniak says. “And we found out that the higher than parents are in terms of anxious, emotional involvement, the more likely their children are to play violent video games.”
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs. About $13 billion worth of video game hardware and software was purchased in the U.S. last year.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)