Pediatric Mental Health Meets Media, Games and Virtual Reality (draft)


Position/Perspective Papers

Ceranoglu, T. A. (2010). Star wars in psychotherapy: Video games in the office. Academic Psychiatry, 34(3), 233–6. doi:10.1176/appi.ap.34.3.233

Christakis, D. A. (2014). Interactive media use at younger than the age of 2 years. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(5), 399. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5081

Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. The American Psychologist, 69(1), 66–78. doi:10.1037/a0034857

Radesky, J. S., Schumacher, J., & Zuckerman, B. (2014). Mobile and interactive media use by young children: The good, the bad, and the unknown. Pediatrics, 135(1), 1–3. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-2251

Read, J. L., & Shortell, S. M. (2011). Interactive games to promote behavior change in prevention and treatment. JAMA : The Journal of the American Medical Association, 305(16), 1704–5. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.408


Reviews (Systematic/Non-systematic) & Meta-Analyses

Prosocial behavior

Greitemeyer, T., & Mügge, D. O. (2014). Video games do affect social outcomes: A meta-analytic review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(5), 578–89. doi:10.1177/0146167213520459

Obesity/Physical Activity

Liang, Y., & Lau, P. W. C. (2014). Effects of active videogames on physical activity and related outcomes among healthy children: A systematic review. Games for Health Journal, 3(3), 122–144. doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0070

Lu, A. S., Kharrazi, H., Gharghabi, F., & Thompson, D. (2013). A systematic review of health videogames on childhood obesity prevention and intervention. Games for Health Journal, 2(3), 131–141. doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0025

Schoffman, D. E., Turner-McGrievy, G., Jones, S. J., & Wilcox, S. (2013). Mobile apps for pediatric obesity prevention and treatment, healthy eating, and physical activity promotion: Just fun and games? Translational Behavioral Medicine, 3(3), 320–5. doi:10.1007/s13142-013-0206-3

Executive Function

Diamond, A., & Lee, K. (2011). Interventions shown to aid executive function development in children 4 to 12 years old. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6045), 959–64. doi:10.1126/science.1204529

General Health

Parisod, H., Pakarinen, A., Kauhanen, L., Aromaa, M., Leppänen, V., Liukkonen, T. N., … Salanterä, S. (2014). Promoting children’s health with digital games: A review of reviews. Games for Health Journal, 3(3), 145–156. doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0086

Primack, B. A., Carroll, M. V, McNamara, M., Klem, M. Lou, King, B., Rich, M., … Nayak, S. (2012). Role of video games in improving health-related outcomes: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 42(6), 630–8. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.02.023


Smith, V., & Sung, A. (2014). Computer interventions for ASD. In V. B. Patel, V. R. Preedy, & C. R. Martin (Eds.), Comprehensive Guide to Autism SE – 134 (pp. 2173–2189). Springer New York. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-4788-7_134

Wang, M., & Anagnostou, E. (2014a). Virtual reality as treatment tool for children with autism. In V. B. Patel, V. R. Preedy, & C. R. Martin (Eds.), Comprehensive Guide to Autism SE – 130 (pp. 2125–2141). Springer New York. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-4788-7_130

Whyte, E. M., Smyth, J. M., & Scherf, K. S. (2014). Designing serious game interventions for individuals with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2333-1


Rationale, Methodology, Ethics & Impact

Baranowski, T. (2014). Measurement method bias in games for health research. Games for Health Journal, 3(4), 193–194. doi:10.1089/g4h.2014.0058

Bavelier, D., Green, C. S., Han, D. H., Renshaw, P. F., Merzenich, M. M., & Gentile, D. a. (2011). Brains on video games. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 12(12), 763–8. doi:10.1038/nrn3135

Colman, J., & Gnanayutham, P. (2010). Ethical considerations when using video games as therapeutic tools. In P. Gnanayutham, H. Paredes, & I. Rekanos (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Software Development for Enhancing Accessibility and Fighting Info-Exclusion (pp. 69–76). Vila Real, Portugal. Retrieved from

Lobel, A., Granic, I., Stone, L. L., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2014). Associations between children’s video game playing and psychosocial health: Information from both parent and child reports. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 17(10), 639–43. doi:10.1089/cyber.2014.0128

Mazurek, M. O., & Engelhardt, C. R. (2013). Video game use in boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or typical development. Pediatrics, 132(2), 260–6. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-3956

O’Neill, S., Rajendran, K., & Halperin, J. M. (2012). More than child’s play: The potential benefits of play-based interventions for young children with ADHD. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 12(10), 1165–7. doi:10.1586/ern.12.106

Ream, G. L., Elliott, L. C., & Dunlap, E. (2013). Trends in video game play through childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. Psychiatry Journal, 2013, 301460. doi:10.1155/2013/301460

Rabipour, S., & Raz, A. (2012). Training the brain: Fact and fad in cognitive and behavioral remediation. Brain and Cognition, 79(2), 159–79. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2012.02.006



Physical activity & Diet Examples

Baranowski, T., Baranowski, J., Thompson, D., Buday, R., Jago, R., Griffith, M. J., … Watson, K. B. (2011). Video game play, child diet, and physical activity behavior change a randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 40(1), 33–8. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2010.09.029

Beasley, N., Sharma, S., Shegog, R., Huber, R., Abernathy, P., Smith, C., & Hoelscher, D. (2012). The quest to lava mountain: Using video games for dietary change in children. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(9), 1334–6. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2012.05.010

Marco, J., Cerezo, E., & Baldassarri, S. (2012). Bringing tabletop technology to all: Evaluating a tangible farm game with kindergarten and special needs children. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 17(8), 1577–1591. doi:10.1007/s00779-012-0522-5

Thompson, D., Bhatt, R., Lazarus, M., Cullen, K., Baranowski, J., & Baranowski, T. (2012). A serious video game to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among elementary aged youth (Squire’s Quest! II): rationale, design, and methods. JMIR Research Protocols, 1(2), e19. doi:10.2196/resprot.2348

Thompson, D., Mahabir, R., Bhatt, R., Boutte, C., Cantu, D., Vazquez, I., … Buday, R. (2013). Butterfly girls; promoting healthy diet and physical activity to young african american girls online: Rationale and design. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 709. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-709


Diabetes Examples

Brox, E., Hirche, J., Evertsen, G., Yliräisänen-Seppänen, P., & Bomark, P. (2012). User centric social diabetes game design for children. In Proceeding of the 16th International Academic MindTrek Conference on – MindTrek ’12 (p. 291). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/2393132.2393196


Cystic Fibrosis Examples

Bingham, P. M., Lahiri, T., & Ashikaga, T. (2012). Pilot trial of spirometer games for airway clearance practice in cystic fibrosis. Respiratory Care, 57(8), 1278–84. doi:10.4187/respcare.01263


Executive Function Examples

Hashemian, Y., & Gotsis, M. (2013). Adventurous dreaming highflying dragon. In Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Wireless Health – WH ’13 (pp. 1–2). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/2534088.2534101

Prins, P. J. M., Brink, E. Ten, Dovis, S., Ponsioen, A., Geurts, H. M., de Vries, M., & van der Oord, S. (2013). “Braingame Brian”: Toward an executive function training program with game elements for children with adhd and cognitive control problems. Games for Health Journal, 2(1), 44–49. doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0004


Dyslexia Examples

Gaggi, O., Galiazzo, G., Palazzi, C., Facoetti, A., & Franceschini, S. (2012). A serious game for predicting the risk of developmental dyslexia in pre-readers children. 2012 21st International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN), (Idd), 1–5. doi:10.1109/ICCCN.2012.6289249


Autism Spectrum Disorders Examples

Gotsis, M., Piggot, J., Hughes, D., & Stone, W. (2010). Smart-games: A video game intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. In Proceedings of IDC 2010, The 9th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 194–197). Barcelona, Spain: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/1810543.1810569


Social Skills Examples

Hendrix, K., van Herk, R., Verhaegh, J., & Markopoulos, P. (2009). Increasing children’s social competence through games, an exploratory study. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children – IDC ’09, 182. doi:10.1145/1551788.1551823


Boardgames in Therapy

Swank, J. M. (2008). The use of games: A therapeutic tool with children and families. International Journal of Play Therapy, 17(2), 154–167. doi:10.1037/1555-6824.17.2.154


Design Methodology

Høiseth, M., Giannakos, M. N., Alsos, O. A., Jaccheri, L., & Asheim, J. (2013). Designing healthcare games and applications for toddlers. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children – IDC ’13 (pp. 137–146). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/2485760.2485770

Moreno-Ger, P., Torrente, J., Hsieh, Y. G., & Lester, W. T. (2012). Usability testing for serious games: Making informed design decisions with user data. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, 2012, 1–13. doi:10.1155/2012/369637


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