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Anger management

Press the start button on anger management

Saturday, November 03, 2012 by: Ben Meredith
Tags: anger management, rage, video games

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(NaturalNews) Children generally demonstrate resistance to situations where they feel alone, overwhelmed, or disinterested. Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital; however, have undergone a new study into anger management therapy that creates a relatable and more enjoyable treatment for youthful patients. The secret? Video games.

The purpose of the study is two-fold: to train the children to control their emotions, and to potentially reduce the need for medication.

Researchers developed a video game that they named Regulate and Gain Emotional Control (RAGE Control). It uses a finger heart rate monitor that halts a player's ability to shoot enemy spaceships when the heart rate becomes too elevated until the patient regains control of their anger or frustration again.

The study involved two groups of children between the ages of nine and 17, all of whom were admitted to the psychiatric unit of the hospital with high levels of anger. They had to have normal IQs and be capable of going the length of the study without medication.

The control group went through standard anger management treatment. The second group also went through the standard treatment, but in addition, the last 15 minutes of their therapy sessions were spent playing RAGE Control. Five sessions later showed that the RAGE Control players were better at maintaining a normal heart rate. The players also showed lower anger scores in relation to the frequency of anger over time, expressions of anger towards other people or things, and the intensity of anger at any given time. Alternatively, the control group showed no significant changes from the beginning in any of these categories.

Despite these positive findings, the study isn't definitive at this point. The number of participants was quite small, with 19 kids in the control group and 18 in the other, and researchers didn't follow up with the participants after their five sessions were over.

Nevertheless, the researchers consider this first study as a good step. They are currently conducting a randomized, controlled clinical trial that involves children teaming up with parents for 10 game sessions. As in the first study, an elevated heart rate stops the ability to shoot. This incorporates cooperation and encouragement into the game, with the hope that it will help participants learn how to not only manage their own emotions, but to aid others in anger management as well.

The researchers' full report on the pilot study can be found in the current issue of the Adolescent Psychiatry journal.

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About the author:
Ben enjoys writing about the benefits of green tea at Tendig.com, a revenue sharing site that publishes unique and interesting articles.

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