A Virtual Reality Approach to Pediatric Conflict De-escalation and Anger Management.
Liu, Heyi (Jade) and Mary Loveless


In recent years, anger management has received considerable attention in the school setting. Youth suffering from elevated anger often relates to health problems, typically cardiovascular diseases; physical aggression, negative verbal responses, and drug use have also been reported as a negative consequence of unmanaged anger. While many forms of treatment currently exist, they often require a counselor's assistance in providing suitable de-escalation methods. For public schools, most states have difficulties allocating funding to establish a large enough school counseling program; therefore, anger management services are not commonly accessible in schools. Virtual Reality (VR) creates an immersive experience through computer-generated environments. First popularized as a game enhancement, VR has contributed to academia by recreating a desired atmosphere, notably within psychological research. This study investigates the potential of a virtual reality de-escalation mechanism to increase its accessibility and affordability in a school setting. The program aims to achieve an immediate de-escalation for the youth through a calm room with minimal adult assistance and prepare them to re-enter the real world by creating a solution to a common anger trigger which can hopefully eventually reduce their dependence on the technology.

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