Publications of the Research Group: Health Promotion and Aggression Prevention
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See detailWhen less is more: Investigating factors influencing the distraction effect of virtual reality from pain
Barcatta, Katharina; Holl, Elisabeth UL; Battistutta, Layla UL et al

in Frontiers in Pain Research (2022), 2

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See detailPreface
Böhmer, Matthias UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Böhmer, Matthias; Steffgen, Georges (Eds.) Grief in schools - Basic knowledge and advice on dealing with dying and death (2022)

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See detailDer Einsatz digitaler Technologien zur Messung der Bewegungsaktivitäten von Kindern und Jugendlichen – das Projekt „Physical Activity of Children and Youth in Luxembourg” (PALUX)
Eckelt, Melanie; Hutmacher, Djenna; Bund, Andreas UL et al

in Luxembourg Center for Educational Testing (LUCET); Universität Luxemburg; Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l‘Innovation pédagogiques et technologiques (SCRIPT) (Eds.) Nationaler Bildungsbericht Luxemburg 2021 (2021)

In einer technisierten und digitalisierten Welt wird Bewegung häufig zu einer Randerscheinung. So zeigen aktuelle Studien, dass das verstärkte Nutzen digitaler Medien bei Kindern und Jugendlichen zu ... [more ▼]

In einer technisierten und digitalisierten Welt wird Bewegung häufig zu einer Randerscheinung. So zeigen aktuelle Studien, dass das verstärkte Nutzen digitaler Medien bei Kindern und Jugendlichen zu reduzierten Bewegungsaktivitäten führt (z. B. Kaiser & Jovy et al., 2017; Spengler et al., 2016). Gleichzeitig ist aus medizinischer Sicht jedoch ein Mindestmaß an Bewegung unabdingbar für die Gesundheiterhaltung; die Weltgesundheitsorganisation spricht von einer Stunde moderat anstrengender Aktivität täglich (WHO, 2010). Diesen (vermeintlichen) Gegensatz zwischen einem digitalen Lebensumfeld und ausreichender Bewegung aufzulösen und im besten Fall umzukehren wird in Zukunft wohl eine bedeutsame Bildungsaufgabe der Schule insgesamt und des Sportunterrichts im Besonderen sein. [less ▲]

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See detailLongitudinal Assessment of Physical Activity, Fitness, Body Composition, Immunological Biomarkers, and Psychological Parameters During the First Year After Diagnosis in Women With Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer: The BEGYN Study Protocol
Zemlin, Cosima; Stuhlert, Caroline; Schleicher, Julia Theresa et al

in Frontiers in Oncology (2021), 11

Background: Moderate physical activity is associated with an improved prognosis and psychosocial outcome in breast cancer patients. Although exercise and physical activity are associated with multiple ... [more ▼]

Background: Moderate physical activity is associated with an improved prognosis and psychosocial outcome in breast cancer patients. Although exercise and physical activity are associated with multiple physiological and psychological effects, many of the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. The BEGYN study (Influence of physical activity in breast cancer patients on physiological and psychological parameters and on biomarkers) aims at identifying potential associations between the extent of physical activity, fitness, body composition, immunological biomarkers, psycho-emotional parameters, and the course of treatment during the first year after diagnosis of breast cancer. Methods: The prospective observational BEGYN study will include 110 non-metastatic breast cancer patients. The patients will be assessed during a base line visit prior to the initiation of the antineoplastic therapy and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. The physical activity will be measured using a fitness tracker and a self-assessment diary during the entire study. Each visit will include the assessment of (i) cardiorespiratory fitness measured by spiroergometry, (ii) body composition, (iii) psycho-emotional parameters (quality of life, mental health, fatigue, depression, distress, anxiety, well-being), and (iv) extensive blood tests including routine laboratory, vitamin D, selenium and immunologically relevant biomarkers (e.g., leukocyte subpopulations and cytokine profiles). Discussion: Whereas most studies investigating the influence of physical activity in breast cancer patients focus on specific activities for three months or less, the BEGYN study will quantify the daily physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness of breast cancer patients based on objective measurements in the context of the oncological therapy for 12 months after diagnosis. The study will reveal potential associations between exercise, immune status and physical as well as psycho-emotional outcome and the clinical course of the disease. Moreover, complementary therapies such as Vit D and Selenium supplementation and parameters investigating the motivation of the patients are part of the study. Due to this holistic approach, the BEGYN study will guide towards confirmatory studies on the role of physical activity in breast cancer patients to develop individualized counselling regarding the recommended type and extent of exercise. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Mediation role of ADHD Symptoms and Emotion Regulation in the association between Executive functions and internalizing Symptoms: A study among youths with and without ADHD and/of Dyslexia
Battistutta, Layla; Schiltz, Christine UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (2021), 5

Objectives The present study aimed at combining previous separate research findings having shown that executive functions (EF) contribute to a large range of emotional and behavioral problems among youths ... [more ▼]

Objectives The present study aimed at combining previous separate research findings having shown that executive functions (EF) contribute to a large range of emotional and behavioral problems among youths with and without neurodevelopmental disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD. Within a unifying framework, it investigated the mediational roles of ADHD symptoms and emotion regulation (ER) difficulties in the association between various EF and internalizing symptoms. Methods The sample included 82 adolescents with ADHD, dyslexia, comorbid ADHD/dyslexia, and typically developing adolescents, thus showing varying EF deficits. Whereas EF (attentional control, inhibition, shifting, working memory) were assessed in behavioral tasks, parents reported on ADHD symptoms, and ER and internalizing (anxiety, depression) symptoms were assessed via self-reports. Results In two-path mediation analyses, ADHD symptoms and ER problems mediated the association between working memory and anxiety (via inattention and ER, a1d21b2 = − .27, 95% CI [− .58, − .04]; via hyperactivity and ER, a1d21b2 = − .19, 95% CI [− .42, − .02]) and depression symptoms (via inattention and ER, a1d21b2 = − .20, 95% CI [− .54, − .03]; via hyperactivity and ER, a1d21b2 = − .24, 95% CI [− .48, − .03]). Hyperactivity and ER, but not inattention and ER, mediated the association between inhibition and internalizing symptoms (predicting anxiety, a1d21b2 = .003, 95% CI [.0001, .009]; predicting depression, a1d21b2 = .004, 95% CI [.002, .009]) as well as between attentional control and internalizing symptoms (predicting anxiety, a1d21b2 = .01, 95% CI [.001, .03]; predicting depression, a1d21b2 = .01, 95% CI [.004, .03]). Conclusions These results offer an insight into how ADHD symptoms and ER problems mediate the association between EF components and internalizing symptoms, with potential implications for prevention and intervention measures. [less ▲]

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See detailMoral Judgment in Video Games: Effects of Medium, Moral Intuitions and Media-Based Empathy
Grohmann, Lara; Holl, Elisabeth UL; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2021, September)

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See detailAn Integrative Model of Moral Processing for the Video Game Medium
Melzer, André UL; Holl, Elisabeth UL

Scientific Conference (2021, September)

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See detailNationwide implementation of media literacy training sessions on internet safety
Tiemann, Aline; Melzer, André UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Communications: the European Journal of Communication Research (2021)

Although numerous media literacy training sessions on internet safety for children and adolescents have been conducted, their number contrasts sharply with the few systematic studies on their ... [more ▼]

Although numerous media literacy training sessions on internet safety for children and adolescents have been conducted, their number contrasts sharply with the few systematic studies on their effectiveness. In this study, we describe the evaluation of nationwide-implemented training sessions on internet safety in Luxembourg, which included perceptions of learning outcomes and evaluations of implementation and effectiveness. Training data from 2011 to 2018 were analyzed, including 28,060 students and 5,031 teachers. Students reported pronounced learning effects, especially for younger students and for repeated training participation. Teachers greatly appreciated the implementation and effectiveness, which generally increased over the years. The perceived effectiveness of the training was significantly related to teachers’ planning to cover internet safety topics in future lessons. The present study shows that carefully planned and continuously evaluated training sessions on internet safety successfully support children’s understanding and teachers’ willingness to implement internet safety in their curriculum. [less ▲]

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See detailDie Psychotechnik im Dienste der Berufsberatung - eine Erinnerung an die Verdienste von Nicolas Braunshausen
Steffgen, Georges UL; Ewen, Norbert UL

in Psychologische Rundschau: Ueberblick Uber die Fortschritte der Psychologie in Deutschland, Oesterreich, und der Schweiz (2021), 72(3), 220-221

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See detailSchattenboxen um die psychotherapeutische Gesundheitsversorgung in Luxemburg
Steffgen, Georges UL

Article for general public (2021)

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See detailVirtual reality gaming for pain distraction - Investigation of attentional and psychophysiological effects
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Battistutta, Layla UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, May)

Virtual reality has been shown to be a powerful method to divert attention away from pain (Malloy & Milling, 2010) and has been used successfully to temporally relieve patients from pain in clinical ... [more ▼]

Virtual reality has been shown to be a powerful method to divert attention away from pain (Malloy & Milling, 2010) and has been used successfully to temporally relieve patients from pain in clinical settings. However, little is known about the underlying attentional processes involved in pain processing in virtual reality. Therefore, as one of the first studies, this project investigates the role of especially cognitive factors influencing distraction from pain. N = 90 healthy participants played the video game Subnautica in two virtual reality conditions (high vs. low cognitive load). To assess the distraction effect, pain thresholds and psychophysiological measures were assessed during play. Additionally, executive functions and self-reported measures on, e.g., presence, simulation sickness and pain-related subjects were assessed. Results suggest that interactive virtual reality games are a potential tool to alter pain processing, regardless of the level of cognitive load. [less ▲]

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See detailMotivation to Play Scale (MOPS): Measuring Gaming Motivation With a Comprehensive Instrument
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Wagener, Gary Lee UL; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2021, May)

With the growing interest in gaming, the motivation why people play has become a focus of research. Scales assessing gaming motivation are mostly based on either motivation theories or on self-constructed ... [more ▼]

With the growing interest in gaming, the motivation why people play has become a focus of research. Scales assessing gaming motivation are mostly based on either motivation theories or on self-constructed items adapted to specific genres. Despite the amount of existing scales, measures often lack validation or leave out important and novel motives. Therefore, the Motivation to Play Scale (MOPS), a work-in-progress project, aims at identifying a holistic instrument validated by systematically collecting and evaluating already existing items. A first evaluation survey (N = 555) resulted in preliminary version of the MOPS measuring 14 gaming motives (e.g., competition, escapism) using 59 items (α = .94). [less ▲]

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See detailThe Hormones of Dark Souls: The Dark Tetrad and Violent Gaming Effects on Aggression, Cortisol and Testosterone Levels
Wagener, Gary; Felten, Andrea; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2021, May)

Although playing violent video games may lead to detrimental effects on cognition, emotion and behavior, the role of hormones and its interplay with personality characteristics is not well understood. An ... [more ▼]

Although playing violent video games may lead to detrimental effects on cognition, emotion and behavior, the role of hormones and its interplay with personality characteristics is not well understood. An experimental study tested how playing a violent versus non-violent video game affects cortisol and testosterone levels, whether these hormonal changes increase implicit aggressive cognition, and whether Dark Tetrad personality traits moderate these effects. In an experimental design, 54 male participants played either a violent or a non-violent video game. Participants provided salivary samples at the beginning of the experiment (T1), right after 25 minutes of gameplay (T2), and 20 minutes after that (T3). There were no significant effects on implicit aggressive cognition. However, participants in the violent game condition had a significant decrease in cortisol levels (T1 to T2) and a significant negative trend in cortisol levels from T1 to T3. Participants with higher Machiavellianism scores in the violent condition had a stronger decrease in cortisol (T1 to T2). In contrast, participants with higher Machiavellianism scores in the non-violent condition had a higher increase in cortisol (T1 to T2). The present findings illustrate the complex interplay between personality, hormones, and game content, thus specifying current notions on violent game effects. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating the role of individual differences in the hypoalgesic response to a virtual reality game: An exploratory analysis
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Barcatta, Katharina; Battistutta, Layla UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, March)

Introduction: Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a powerful method of redirecting attention away from pain and is increasingly used in clinical settings as a therapeutic tool for pain treatment ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a powerful method of redirecting attention away from pain and is increasingly used in clinical settings as a therapeutic tool for pain treatment. Yet, little is known about the underlying factors that modulate the size of the hypoalgesic response to a VR game, such as cognitive load and inter-individual differences in self-reported pain-related cognitions, emotion regulation habits, gaming skills, and executive functions. Methods: 90 healthy participants played two versions of the VR game 'Subnautica', differing in cognitive load (low load vs. high load). In the low load condition, participants navigated along a predefined route. In the high load condition, participants additionally memorized a series of single digits presented along the route. Pain heat thresholds as well as psychophysiological measures (ECG, EDA) were recorded during a passive control condition (in VR) prior to, as well as during, the two interactive sessions. In addition, participants completed several psychological questionnaires and different executive functioning tasks prior to the VR sessions. Results: Pain thresholds were significantly higher in the two interactive VR sessions when compared to the passive control condition, whereas the cognitive load of the game had no effect on pain thresholds. Individual differences in pain-related cognitions, prepotent response inhibition abilities and the level of emotional awareness reported by female participants, but not the level of gaming skills, influenced the size of the hypoalgesic effect. Discussion: In line with a growing body of studies, we observed a robust hypoalgesic response to playing a VR game, highlighting once more the potential of VR as a tool for pain reduction. Importantly, the hypoalgesic effect was not dependent on the participants’ level of gaming skills or the cognitive load of the game, suggesting that the sensory properties of the VR game were sufficient to change the processing of pain. [less ▲]

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See detailAuswirkungen der COVID-19-Pandemie auf den sozialen Zusammenhalt
Steffgen, Georges UL; Sischka, Philipp UL

in Benoy, Charles (Ed.) COVID-19 - Ein Virus nimmt Einfluss auf unsere Psyche (2021)

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See detailIntroducing the COVID-19 crisis Special Education Needs Coping Survey
Dukes, Daniel; Van Herwegen, Jo; Alessandri, Michael et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

Individuals with special education needs have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have been shown to be at high risk of losing medical and institutional support at a time when ... [more ▼]

Individuals with special education needs have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have been shown to be at high risk of losing medical and institutional support at a time when people are being asked to stay isolated, suffering increased anxiety and depression as a consequence. Their families have often found themselves under tremendous pressure to provide support, engendering financial hardship, and physical and emotional strains. In such times, it is vital that international collaborations assess the impact on the individuals and their families, affording the opportunity to make national and international comparisons of how people have coped and what needs to be done to optimize the measures taken by families, associations and governments. This paper introduces one such collaboration. [less ▲]

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See detailExtended telecommuting due to COVID-19 and the impact on working life
Sischka, Philipp UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Mein, Georg; Pause, Johannes (Eds.) Self and Society in the Corona Crisis. Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences (2021)

The corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the working lives of people all over the world, amongst others, the labor market has seen a sharp increase in telecommuting. Therefore, the extent of ... [more ▼]

The corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the working lives of people all over the world, amongst others, the labor market has seen a sharp increase in telecommuting. Therefore, the extent of telecommuting in Luxembourg as well as definitions and different arrangements of telecommuting will be presented. Thereafter the chapter looks at merits and demerits of telecommuting and the boundary conditions of successfully working from home by focusing on the extraordinary situation under which telework currently takes place. In this regard, the effects of telecommuting on the individual, the organization and the society are outlined and discussed. Finally, the chapter closes highlighting requirements for effective telecommuting and describing ongoing research about the effects of telecommuting on different working conditions in Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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