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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cyberpsychology and schools : a feasibility study using virtual reality with school children Turner, Carolynn Ann


This study evaluates the feasibility and treatment acceptability of Virtual Reality (VR) technology applied universally in a school setting. A total of 105 children, mean age of 14.45, in five classrooms completed a paper and pencil measure of trait anxiety during Session 1. In Session 2, participants were randomly selected to participate in either a neutral environment or an anxiety-provoking environment and completed a measure of state anxiety immediately prior to and following their first VR exposure. Following the exposure participants also completed a Likert-Scaled questionnaire regarding treatment acceptability. In Session 3, participants completed Session 2 procedure in the alternate environment. There was a main effect of condition and time on state anxiety scores, controlling for trait anxiety. Participants in the anxiety provoking condition had lower mean state anxiety scores than being in the neutral condition; participants had lower state anxiety levels following the anxiety condition than they did following the neutral condition. All participants’ mean state anxiety levels were lower post exposure than pre exposure. There was also a borderline significant main effect of condition on treatment acceptability levels, controlling for trait anxiety. Participants in the neutral condition had a higher level of acceptability than when in the anxiety provoking condition. Results reveal that the implementation of VR technology exposure warrants further research.

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