Three out of four British kids play video games on a daily basis, the researchers discovered.
No effects were found for kids who played between one and three hours a day. They had about the same emotional development as those who never played.
Kids who played less than an hour a day tended to be more happy with their life, more helpful and kind to others and less likely to brood over problems or act out, the study showed.
The opposite held for kids who played more than three hours, a finding that has been reflected in earlier research on video games.
There's one likely reason for the positive impact that came from a minimum amount of gaming, Przybylski said -- the kids are having fun.
"When kids are having fun and are at play, you'd expect them to be happy, right?" he said.
Other experts agreed. "Video games are good at challenging players to solve problems, and overcoming those problems can be very gratifying," said Dr. Paul Weigle, a pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist in Mansfield Center, Conn. "They can have a benefit for teaching problem-solving and persistence."
A kid who plays some video games also might find it easier to socially connect with classmates than those who don't, Weigle added.
"Friendships are often based on mutual interests," he said. "For better or worse, most kids are spending a substantial amount of time playing video games. Kids who aren't playing video games can feel left out of the conversation."
Weigle noted there could be other explanations outside video games for the results found in the study.
For example, a kid who plays video games less than an hour a day may benefit from caring parents who are more engaged and limiting their child's time in front of the computer or television. By the same token, a teen who never plays video games may live in a financially strapped, stress-fi
All rights reserved