Despite widespread claims that video gaming is harmful for children's social and emotional development, hardly any research has tracked children over time to verify these claims. Moreover, such claims run contrary to the importance which psychologists have given to play. This project aimed to address these matters.
In my PhD project I study social games for the prevention of depression. In my project I take part in both the development and testing of games. I want to use video games to help youth become more emotionally resilient and to decrease the stigma that surrounds depression. I do this in close collaboration with other researchers and game designers. I am particularly interested in games that are played in a social context, because I believe that both social threat and social support are key factors in the development and maintenance of depression.
Erik van den Berge
This project investigates the influences of different aspects of video game play behavior on the adjustment and social relationships of adolescents. In an annual survey, adolescents indicate their well-being and various elements of their video game play behavior (such as their motivation for gaming, type of games played, and the social context in which games are played). The aim of the project is to investigate how average, day-today gaming affects the social development of teens.
Yvonne van den Berg
This project is focused on assessing the feasibility and effectiveness of a full-body-driven intervention videogame targeted at decreasing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms.
The video game MindLight has been found to be an effective anxiety prevention program (see project: MindLight - Childhood Anxiety Prevention). However, we don’t know whether the clinical techniques incorporated in the game were responsible for the observed changes in anxiety symptoms. In this project we examined how children play MindLight, to what extent they interact with the clinical techniques in the game and how that relates to their anxiety improvements.