League of Legends Video Games
A video game player prepares for a match at the League of Legends North American Championship in Manhattan Beach, California, Feb. 22, 2014. Getty Images/AFP/Robyn Beck

A new research has found positive effects of violent video games on youth, contradicting several past studies that said otherwise. The study published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture also found that boys were more likely to play violent video games than girls.

For the study, researchers Christopher J. Ferguson and John Colwell surveyed 304 children in the United Kingdom. They examined the participants’ exposure to violent content in video games and parental involvement in their game play.

The study conclusions suggested that several of those children showed increased civic behaviors. However, researchers said the link was small and correlational in nature.

Furthermore, researchers found that parental involvement did not lead to reduced violent video game exposure. The study authors said that this may be because parents become comfortable with the content of games once they play them.

“Regarding motivations for violent game play, it was not surprising to find that boys played more violent games than girls. However, among youth who played video games, interest in games as a fun activity but also as a release from stress were predictors of violent game use. These results are consistent with evidence from other studies indicating that youth often turn to action oriented games to reduce stress and improve mood,” researchers said, in a statement.