Investigating social vulnerability in children using computer mediated role-play

Toni Laura Fallon, Ruth Aylett, Helen Minnis, Gnanathusharan Rajendran

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Abstract

Here, we report a study using computer role-play to investigate Disinhibited Social Engagement in 54 typically developing children aged 6, 8 and 10 years. Children completed 22 (themematched) vignettes and computerised scenarios that captured the themes of the specific symptoms of Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSM V, APA, 2013). Our newly created 22 "Paper pencil" vignettes and computer role-play scenarios were used in conjunction with the Strange Stories (O'Hare, Bremner, Nash, Happé & Pettigrew, 2009) and Parents and Teachers completed versions of the Relationship Problems Questionnaire (RPQ: Minnis et al., 2007). Our findings revealed the developmental (age) differences of social vulnerability/indiscriminate friendliness and potential advantages of computermediated role-play in comparison to “paper pencil” tasks. We argue that using a method of children role playing characters gives a better insight into children's true vulnerabilities. We discuss our findings in relation to using this methodology for clinicians and researchers to improve social skills in the most socially vulnerable children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-464
JournalComputers and Education
Volume125
Early online date5 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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