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Proceedings Paper

Virtual world for helping teens practice assertiveness skills
Author(s): Kenneth Nemire; Joshua Beil; Ronald W. Swan
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Paper Abstract

Smoking is on the rise among adolescents. This pilot project combined the well-documented benefits of Life Skills Training (LST) with the unique multisensory, 3D qualities of virtual environment (VE) technology to address some of the disadvantages of traditional prevention programs by engaging teens better, presenting information more persuasively, and making prevention programs continuously available in computer labs. In an eight-week pilot study, 45 seventh- grade students were randomly assigned to LST, VE, or non- intervention control groups. The VE system included goggles, synthesized speech, head and hand trackers, hand-held controller, and speech recognition. Questionnaires measured participants' smoking knowledge and behavior,a participants' reports on the usability of the VE system, and reports of simulator sickness symptoms. Structured interviews with randomly selected participants from each group revealed more detailed information. Data indicated the VE group retained more information and had more positive experiences learning about dangers of smoking and assertiveness skills than did the LST group. Usability data showed ease of use and learning of the VE system, with no significant symptoms of simulator sickness. These data indicated that this VE application is a promising tool for keeping teens healthy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 May 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3639, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems VI, (24 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349405
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth Nemire, Interface Technologies Corp. (United States)
Joshua Beil, Interface Technologies Corp. (United States)
Ronald W. Swan, Human Development Associates (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3639:
Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems VI
Mark T. Bolas; John O. Merritt; Scott S. Fisher; Mark T. Bolas; Scott S. Fisher, Editor(s)

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