Video games have no positive or negative effect on adolescents who play between one and three hours a day, according to a new study from Oxford University.
Participants between 10 and 15 years old who played “moderate” amounts of video games, one to three hours per day, were just as socially and well-adjusted as those who played no video games at all, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
In the study of nearly 5,000 children and adolescents, researchers polled participants on the amount of time they spent playing games, as well as their satisfaction levels in life.
Three in four British children and teens play video games on a daily basis, and those who spent more than half their free time playing were not as well adjusted, researchers said. Those who played for less than an hour, however, had higher levels of sociability and satisfaction, and reported fewer emotional problems compared to non-players.
“‘Further research needs to be carried out to look closely at the specific attributes of games that make them beneficial or harmful. It will also be important to identify how social environments such as family, peers, and the community shape how gaming experiences influence young people,” said study author Andrew Przybylski.