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Games Health J. 2015 Jun;4(3):225-34. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2014.0125. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

Social Behaviors and Active Videogame Play in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
1 The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California Irvine , Irvine, California.
2
2 Children's Hospital Los Angeles , Los Angeles, California.
3
3 Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, California.
4
4 Janet Weis Children's Hospital , Geisinger Health System, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often display problematic and excessive videogame play. Using active videogames (AVGs) may have physical benefits, but its effects on socialization are unknown.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We conducted an A-B-A' experiment comparing sedentary videogames and AVGs for three dyads of a child with ASD and his sibling. An augmented reality (AR) game was used to introduce AVGs. Sessions were coded for communication, positive affect, and aggression.

RESULTS:

One dyad had increases in positive affect with AVGs. Otherwise, social behaviors were unchanged or worse. The AR game demonstrated consistent elevations in social behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of AVGs has inconsistent effects on social behavior for children with ASD. Further research is needed to understand mediators of response to AVGs. AR games should be evaluated for potential benefits on socialization and positive affect.

PMID:
26182068
DOI:
10.1089/g4h.2014.0125
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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