Can videogames promote emotional intelligence in teenagers?

Summary: Study finds video games can be helpful to promote emotional intelligence in adolescents.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert Inc

A new study has shown that videogames when used as part of an emotional intelligence training program, can help teenagers evaluate, express, and manage their own emotions immediately after the training. The study design, interpretation of results, and implications of these findings are published in Games for Health Journal.

The article entitled “Can Videogames Be Used to Promote Emotional Intelligence in Teenagers? Results from EmotivaMente, a School Program” was co-authored by Claudia Carissoli and Daniela Villani, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan, Italy). The researchers developed an emotional intelligence training program that integrated videogames as experience-based learning tools. The experimental group of teenagers participated in eight sessions and their emotional competency was evaluated before beginning the program, at the end of the training, and three months later. The researchers provide recommendations for future research based on the results of this study.

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The experimental group of teenagers participated in eight sessions and their emotional competency was evaluated before beginning the program, at the end of the training, and three months later. The image is in the public domain.

“Games for health have been designed to address an increasing variety of issues. A relatively new health issue is emotional intelligence, which has implications for various health problems, including coping with stress,” says Tom Baranowski, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of Games for Health Journal, from USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, and Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. “Carissoli and Villani created a videogame, EmotivaMente, to enhance emotional intelligence among adolescents, perhaps the group that could benefit most. Their preliminary evaluation indicated that playing the game enhanced the students’ evaluation and expression of emotions. This is an important first step in designing a game to learn to manage emotions. While the impact was limited, further enhancements to the game may have substantial additional effects. Stay tuned!”

About this neuroscience research article

Source:
Mary Ann Liebert Inc
Media Contacts:
Kathryn Ryan – Mary Ann Liebert Inc
Image Source:
The image is in the public domain.

Original Research: Open access
“Can Videogames Be Used to Promote Emotional Intelligence in Teenagers? Results from EmotivaMente, a School Program”. Claudia Carissoli, Daniela Villani.
Games for Health. doi:10.1089/g4h.2018.0148

Abstract

Can Videogames Be Used to Promote Emotional Intelligence in Teenagers? Results from EmotivaMente, a School Program

Objective: To carry out and investigate the effectiveness of an emotional intelligence (EI) training based on the EI ability model, using videogames as experience-based learning tools to increase EI abilities in adolescents.

Materials and Methods: A pre-/post-test/follow-up quasi-experimental design was used with an experimental and a control group (121 adolescents, 15.7% boys, mean age of 14.1 years). The training called “EmotivaMente” consisted of eight sessions lasting 1.5 hours each, conducted with six first-year classes of two Italian senior high schools. Data on emotional competences were collected at baseline, at the end of the training and 3 months later. Data were analyzed by repeated measures analysis of variance.

Results: Students who participated in the EI training reported an improvement in the evaluation and expression of emotions in relation to the self (own emotions) compared with the control group, immediately after the training, but this difference did not persist at the follow-up (3 months later). Furthermore, EmotivaMente found an increase in the use of cognitive revaluation as a strategy of emotion regulation in the experimental group over time.

Conclusions: EmotivaMente helped adolescents to improve emotional skills. Results confirmed that videogames can be useful to promote EI in adolescents at school, if integrated with a guided and assisted framework. Implication of the findings and recommendations for future research are made.

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