Washington, Jan 20 (PTI) Eighty-six per cent of parents believe that teens spend too much time in gaming, while many may be mistaken about the extent of their own child's video game habits, a new US poll suggests.
Researchers from the University of Michigan in the US found that while 71 per cent of parents believe video games may have a positive impact on their teen, some (44 per cent) try to restrict video game content.
Parents of teens ages 13-15 are more likely to use rating systems to try to make sure games are appropriate, they said.
The parents encourage their teen to play with friends in person rather than online and to ban gaming in their teen's bedroom, according to the poll.
Parents also report very different gaming patterns for teen boys than girls, the survey found.
Twice as many parents say their teenage boy plays video games every day compared to parents of teen girls. Teen boys are also more likely to spend three or more hours gaming, the researchers said.
Overall, parents surveyed said gaming often gets in the way of other aspects of their teen's life.
These aspects include family activities and interactions (46 per cent), sleep (44 per cent), homework (34 per cent), friendship with non-gaming peers (33 per cent) and extracurricular activities (31 per cent).
'Although many parents believe video games can be good for teens, they also report a number of negative impacts of prolonged gaming,' said Mott Poll co-director Gary Freed.
'Parents should take a close look at their teen's gaming behaviour and set reasonable limits to reduce harmful impacts on sleep, family and peer relationships and school performance,' Freed said.
However, parents may not always have the most accurate perception of their teen's gaming tendencies, the researchers said.
Among parents of daily gamers, 54 per cent report their teen plays three or more hours a day -- compared to only 13 per cent of teens that do not play every day.
Just 13 per cent of these parents believe their teen spends more time gaming than others, while 78 per cent believe their teen's gaming is less than or about the same as their peers, according to the researchers.
'Many parents of frequent gamers have a misconception that the amount of time their teenager spends playing video games is in line with their peers,' Freed said. PTI SAR SAR