LONDON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Children who play video games for less than an hour daily are more sociable than their peers, a new Oxford University study suggests.
The study, published in the American medical journal Pediatrics on Monday, involved nearly 5,000 British children, half male and half female, between 10 and 15 years old.
They were asked how much time they typically spent on video games, as well as how satisfied they were with their lives, their levels of hyperactivity and inattention, empathy, and how they got on with their peers.
The results suggest that three in four British children and teenagers play video games on a daily basis, and that those who spent more than half their daily free time playing it were not as well adjusted.
It speculates that this could be because they miss out on other enriching activities and possibly expose themselves to inappropriate content designed for adults.
Meanwhile, 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. They also appeared to have fewer friendship and emotional problems, and reported less hyperactivity than the other groups.
"These results support recent laboratory-based experiments that have identified the downsides to playing electronic games,” study author Dr Andrew Przybylski from Oxford University said.
“However, high levels of video game-playing appear to be only weakly linked to children's behavioural problems in the real world,” Przybylski added.
The researchers concluded 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.