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Title: Employing movement-based gaming in the development of an intervention to aid self-regulation in young people with complex trauma
Author: Cummins, Alan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 730X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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Young people who have experienced repeated abuse from an early age are affected cognitively and physically in a multitude of domains. This thesis reports on previous work that indicates that chronic trauma may cause significant difficulties in self-regulation which can lead to subsequent traumatisation, revictimisation, substance abuse, suicide, antisocial behaviour and conduct disorder. Treatment of trauma initially focuses on skill building rather than on reprocessing. Movement has been used to aid with areas such as stress reduction but there is scope to broaden the benefits of physical activity in this population. We report on the design, implementation and testing of a custom movement-based intervention for improving self-regulation in young people. As part of the design process the thesis identified that movement-based gaming may be used to provide a novel useful tool. In order to effectively design movement-based games, available commercial games were evaluated to obtain a guiding set of design principles. Following analysis of movement capture technology, the Wii Balance Board was chosen as a portable, inexpensive accurate system for detecting movement during game-play. Taking the requirements from a clinical, movement-based, virtual reality and gaming perspective, prototype games were developed. From these, two games were implemented. These games were tested with an initial pilot, comparison group and finally a clinical sample of young people based in secure care facilities. We found that our work disagreed with previous research which indicated general executive functioning deficits in traumatised youths. However, there was evidence that self-regulation was impaired. Analysis of several case-studies indicated potential beneficial effects of the intervention. The work demonstrated that movement-based gaming may be used in a clinical setting but that further work is required to understand how movement may be used to build self-regulatory strength and the best means of delivering gaming-based interventions to young people with complex trauma.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available