Gamified Attention Training in the Primary School Classroom: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Objective: This randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of attention training delivered in class on cognitive attention processes, inattention, hyperactivity, working memory, and numeracy in primary school children. Method: Eight classes (n = 98 children; 5-9 years) were cluster randomized to gamified attention training, a placebo program, or a no-contact control condition. Assessments were conducted at baseline, immediately after the 5-week intervention (posttraining), and 6 months later (follow-up). Results: Posttraining, attention training was associated with reduced inattention and hyperactivity within the classroom compared with controls, and reduced hyperactivity at home compared with the no-contact control. At follow-up, reduced hyperactivity within the classroom compared with the no-contact control persisted. No effects of training on cognitive attention processes, working memory, and numeracy were observed posttraining. Conclusion: Classroom-based attention training has select benefits in reducing inattention and hyperactivity, but may not promote gains in cognitive or academic skills in primary school children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1159
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • attention
  • children
  • cognitive training
  • numeracy
  • transfer

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