London: Young people who indulge in a little video game-playing are better adjusted than those who do not play at all or those who are on video games for three hours or more every day, suggests a study.
When compared to non-players and those who played very frequently, those who played video games for less than an hour were associated with the highest levels of sociability and were most likely to say they were satisfied with their lives, the findings showed.
They also appeared to have fewer friendship and emotional problems, and reported less hyperactivity than the other groups.
“High levels of video game-playing appear to be only weakly linked to children’s behavioural problems in the real world,” said Andrew Przybylski from the Oxford University in Britain.
“Likewise, the small, positive effects we observed for low levels of play on electronic games do not support the idea that video games on their own can help children develop in an increasingly digital world,” Przybylski said.
The study suggests that the influence of video games on children, for good or for ill, is very small when compared with more “enduring” factors, such as whether the child is from a functioning family, their school relationships, and whether they are materially deprived.
The study involved nearly 5,000 young people, half of them males and the remaining females, between 10 and 15 years old, from Britain.
The findings appeared in the journal Pediatrics.