The Use of a Newly Developed Computer Game to Measure Executive Functioning in Young Neurotypical Children and Children with a Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition

Prof Doc Thesis


Scott, A. 2022. The Use of a Newly Developed Computer Game to Measure Executive Functioning in Young Neurotypical Children and Children with a Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v5y1
AuthorsScott, A.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Over the past decade, executive functions have been associated with positive outcomes in children, highlighting the importance of having suitable measures available for this age group. Now, research is increasingly looking do develop computerised measures using game-based formats to address the limitations of established measures currently used. This study aimed to trial Davis’ (2020) newly developed game-based measure of executive function, Dragon Adventure, in populations that have previously been neglected in the literature: neurotypical children aged 6 to 8 years and children with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition aged 6 to 11 years.
Using a cross-sectional correlational design, this study compared the performance of participants on Dragon Adventure to established measures of executive function and teacher-ratings, controlling for computer literacy and processing speed. Within-subjects means comparisons were used to assess whether Dragon Adventure was rated as more acceptable than the established measures. Qualitative data on how Dragon Adventure could be improved was also collected and analysed through a content analysis.
Through Spearman’s rank correlations, Dragon Adventure was found to be a valid measure of inhibition in both the neurotypical and ASC sample and of working memory in the neurotypical sample. Dragon Adventure also demonstrated good ecological validity. Dragon Adventure was rated by participants as acceptable, however, not substantially more enjoyable than established measures.
With some amendments addressing the limitations identified in this study, Dragon Adventure has the potential to be a suitable measure of executive function for school-aged children. Future research should look to develop Dragon Adventure and continue to trial it in neurotypical, neurodiverse and clinical samples.

Year2022
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v5y1
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Publication dates
Online13 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted02 Aug 2022
Deposited13 Jan 2023
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