Effects of home access to active videogames on child self-esteem, enjoyment of physical activity, and anxiety related to electronic games: results from a randomized controlled trial
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This is a copy of an article published in the Games for Health Journal © 2014, copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; Games for Health Journal is available online at: http://online.liebertpub.com.
Objective: Active-input videogames could provide a useful conduit for increasing physical activity by improving a child’s self-confidence, physical activity enjoyment, and reducing anxiety. Therefore this study evaluated the impact of (a) the removal of home access to traditional electronic games or (b) their replacement with active-input videogames, on child self-perception, enjoyment of physical activity, and electronic game use anxiety. Subjects and Methods: This was a crossover, randomized controlled trial, conducted over a 6-month period in participants’ family homes in metropolitan Perth, Australia, from 2007 to 2010. Children 10–12 years old were recruited through school and community media. Of 210 children who were eligible, 74 met inclusion criteria, and 8 withdrew, leaving 66 children (33 girls) for analysis. A counterbalanced randomized order of three conditions sustained for 8 weeks each: No home access to electronic games, home access to traditional electronic games, and home access to active-input electronic games. Perception of self-esteem (Harter’s Self Perception Profile for Children), enjoyment of physical activity (Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale questionnaire), and anxiety toward electronic game use (modified Loyd and Gressard Computer Anxiety Subscale) were assessed. Results: Compared with home access to traditional electronic games, neither removal of all electronic games nor replacement with active-input games resulted in any significant change to child self-esteem, enjoyment of physical activity, or anxiety related to electronic games. Conclusions: Although active-input videogames have been shown to be enjoyable in the short term, their ability to impact on psychological outcomes is yet to be established.
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