Keywords

Childhood social anxiety disorder, behavioral treatment, virtual environment, virtual reality augmented treatment

Abstract

Objective: Two significant challenges for the dissemination of social skills training programs are (a) the need to provide sufficient practice opportunities to assure skill consolidation and (b) the need to assure skill generalization (i.e., use of the skills outside the clinic setting). In the case of social anxiety disorder, virtual environments may provide one strategy to address these issues. This investigation describes the development of an interactive skills-oriented virtual school environment and evaluated its utility for the treatment of social anxiety disorder in preadolescent children (Study 1). This environment included both in-clinic and at-home solutions. In addition, a pilot replication/extension study further examined preliminary treatment efficacy between children who received a standard multi-component treatment and children who received the modified treatment with social skills practice in a virtual environment (Study 2). Method: Eleven children with a primary diagnosis of social anxiety disorder between 7 to 12 years old participated in the initial feasibility trial (Study 1). Five additional children participated in the replication/extension study (Study 2). To investigate preliminary treatment efficacy, clinical outcome measures for the Study 2 sample were compared to a comparison sample who received the standard treatment. Results: Overall, the virtual environment program was viewed as acceptable, feasible, and credible treatment components to children, parents, and clinicians alike but modifications would likely improve the current version. Additionally, although preliminary, children who received the modified treatment with virtual environment practice demonstrated significant improvement at post-treatment on clinician ratings but not parent or self-reported measures. Conclusion: Virtual environments are feasible, acceptable, and credible treatment components for clinical use. Future investigations will determine if the addition of this dose-controlled and iv intensive social skills practice results in treatment outcome equivalent to traditional cognitivebehavioral programs.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2013

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Beidel, Deborah

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology; Clinical Psychology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004962

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004962

Language

English

Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

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