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Playing Videogames for Less than an Hour Linked to Better Social Skills

Aug 04, 2014 02:04 AM EDT
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Children who play video games for less than an hour daily are more sociable than their peers, a new Oxford University study suggests.

Researchers found that children and teens who played video games for less than hour daily were better adjusted to the society than children who didn't play videogames and those who played for more than three hours.

The effect of video-games, researchers maintain, is minor as compared to other factors such as personal relationships and socioeconomic status.

The study was based on data from 5,000 young people, half of whom were females. Participants were aged between 10-15 years. All of them were asked about their video-game playing habits as well as about their relationships with their peers.

The researchers found that children who played videogames for less than an hour were more likely to be sociable. These children had fewer problems with their peers than those who played for more than three hours evryday and those who didn't play video games at all.

"These results support recent laboratory-based experiments that have identified the downsides to playing electronic games. However, high levels of video game-playing appear to be only weakly linked to children's behavioural problems in the real world. 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," said Dr Andrew Przybylski from the Oxford Internet Institute, according to a news release.

The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.

According to estimates, children in the U.S., spend about 4.5 hours watching television and more than an hour playing video games. Related research has shown that playing video games is better than watching television. Whether or not violent videogames increase aggression in children is still up for debate.

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