Document Type : Original Articles
1 Department of Software Engineering, School of Engineering, Sepahan Institute of Higher Education, Isfahan, Iran
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Software Engineering, School of Engineering, Sepahan Institute of Higher Education, Isfahan, Iran
Introduction: Currently, anger and violence are one of the important reasons for referral of children and adolescents to counseling and psychotherapy centers. Anger management skills are among the most effective approaches to prevent the expansion of high-risk behaviors and to improve personal and social efficiency. The purpose of this study is to design a new game for anger prevention and teaching anger management skills in children.Materials and Methods: Given the availability of smart phones, the game was designed and implemented as an Android-based application for children. Using the Basic4Android software, the game was developed according to the advice taken from peers expert in the psychology and computer fields. To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the game, 105 children aged 8 to 12 years old from Khomeini Shahr, Iran, were selected and randomly divided into the control and experimental groups. The experimental group (n = 52) received the software while the control group (n = 53) were trained by the traditional method and group method under the supervision of a counselor. Anger rate was measured using the Novaco Anger Inventory (NAI). Paired t-test and independent t-test were administered for the intra- and intergroup comparisons, respectively.Results: Participation in the traditional anger management training program and Emily and the Toy Box play in both groups significantly reduced the three components of anger and overall anger score on NAI. In other words, using Emily and the Toy Box game was just as effective as traditional methods of teaching anger management to children. However, the reduction in anger scores and its components in the experimental group averaged 10 to 17% more than the traditional methods.Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the android application “Emily and the Toy Box” may be effective for teaching anger management skills in children aged 8 years and older and particularly, it reduces aggressive behaviors in children.