An Evaluation of Therapeutically Applied Role-Playing Games for Psychological and Social Functioning Amongst Youth/Young Adults
Date of Award
Master of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology
First Reader/Committee Chair
Tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) are “a collaborative narrative game where group members role-play a character that they create in order to solve puzzles, uncover treasure, and defeat monsters in a fictional environment that is created together using formal rules and participation structures'’ (Davis & Kilmer, 2020). TTRPGs have begun to increase in popularity and evoke new interest in exploring whether these new treatment modalities result in positive mental health outcomes. Specifically, therapeutically applied role-playing games (TARPGs) are TTRPGs that integrate therapeutic mechanisms in order to promote improved psychological and social functioning. The goal of the present study was to examine and understand the outcomes of TARPGs for psychological and social functioning in youth/young adult populations utilizing participant and parent data. Data was collected as part of quality improvement procedures from a nonprofit organization and were obtained for the purpose of the present study. Results revealed small decreases on measures of empathy (d = 0.43) and self-esteem (d = 0.24) for youth. Evaluation of parents indicated that no changes were observed on the measured scores. Results from the present study, while limited, still yielded important implications for the utility of TARPGs for youth/young adult populations. Future research should continue to expand the limited research on TARPGs as a clinical intervention to determine the efficacy of TARPGs as an evidence supported intervention.
Soleski, Adam Thomas, "An Evaluation of Therapeutically Applied Role-Playing Games for Psychological and Social Functioning Amongst Youth/Young Adults" (2023). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 1718.
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