Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Evaluation of Creature -101: Can A Curriculum Based Serious Health Game Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among Middle School Students?

Majumdar, Dalia

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the outcomes of playing a virtual reality serious game "Creature-101" at increasing fruits and vegetables, water, physical activity, decreasing processed snacks (e.g. chips, candy), sweetened beverages, and recreational screen time, and mediators of behavior change (behavioral capability, self-efficacy, outcome expectation-social and physical, autonomous motivation). The Creature-101 game uses social cognitive and self-determination theories as framework and incorporates "creature care" in a virtual world "Tween". Students learn scientific evidence that promote energy balance by playing mini-games, short educational videos, slideshows and interactive dialogues with game characters. Students also assess their own behaviors; create own "real life" food and activity goals, and report their progress. The study used a pre-post matched pair intervention and control design with 590 students (65% Hispanics, 50% male, age 11-13yrs). In the intervention condition 359 students played Creature-101 in classroom 2 days/week for 1month (7sessions-30 minutes each). Two self-reported online surveys administered at baseline and immediately after intervention measured frequency and amounts of the targeted behaviors, and mediators of behavior change. Analysis of covariance compared post-test means between groups. Students in the intervention group reported significant decrease in frequency of consumption of processed packaged snacks (I=1.79±1.22, C=2.14±1.37, p-value<0.000) and increase in behavioral capability (I=5.06±3.91, C=4.06± 1.43, p=0.12). Students also reported positive trends in consuming fewer sweetened beverages (I=1.72±1.12, C=1.95±1.16, p=0.082), smaller sizes of sweetened beverages (I=1.46±0.88, C=1.65±0.93, p=0.098) and processed snacks (I=1.46±0.88, C=1.65±0.93, p=0.098). Creature-101 is encouraging as a means to promote diet and physical activity behaviors in children.

Subjects

Files

  • thumnail for Majumdar_columbia_0054D_11144.pdf Majumdar_columbia_0054D_11144.pdf application/pdf 12.3 MB Download File

More Information

Academic Units
Behavioral Nutrition
Thesis Advisors
Contento, Isobel
Degree
Ph.D., Teachers College
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.