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Contact: Chad Binette
University of Central Florida

Avatars May Help Children With Social Anxiety Overcome Fears

Caption: Researchers at the University of Central Florida's Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Atlanta-based company Virtually Better want to give more children with social anxiety the practice they need to become comfortable in social situations. They have developed a new, one-of-a-kind computer simulation program that enables children to interact with avatars playing the roles of classmates, teachers and a principal. The simulation, designed for children ages 8 to 12, allows clinicians to play the roles of the avatars while the children sit at a computer in a different room and respond to situations they encounter routinely. The children practice greetings, giving and receiving compliments, being assertive and asking and answering questions.

Credit: Virtually Better Inc.

Usage Restrictions: Media have permission to use the photo.

Related news release: Avatars may help children with social anxiety overcome fears

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