The research, carried out by Oxford University, found that young people who indulged in a little video game-playing were associated with being better adjusted than those who had never played or those who were on video games for three hours or more.
Study author Dr Andrew Przybylski from the Oxford Internet Institute said that the results supported recent laboratory-based experiments that had 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.
Przybylski further said that some of the positive effects identified in past gaming research were mirrored in these data but the effects were quite small, suggesting that any benefits may be limited to a narrow range of action games and 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.
The study is published in the journal, Pediatrics.