Background: Individuals with disabilities are at heightened risk for bullying and can lack the ability to cope in bullying situations. Teachers and caregivers have an important responsibility to promote optimal strategies for individuals with disabilities to cope with bullying. Three types of strategies have been identified: autonomy-supporting, autonomy-neutral, and autonomy-undermining strategies. Objectives: The current study investigates the effectiveness of a serious game, “Stop bullying now!”, for teachers to use in working with individuals with disabilities to enhance autonomy-promoting strategies and increase generalized self-efficacy. Methods: In this superiority parallel randomized controlled trial, we tested 150 participants in three conditions: the experimental group (n = 62) played the serious game for 20 min, the active control group (n = 41) read a digital information package about bullying, and the passive control group (n = 47) read a digital information package that was not bullying related. Outcomes were measured before and after the interventions and at 4–6 weeks of follow-up. Results: The serious game significantly improved autonomy-supporting strategies post-intervention, and marginally significant effects were identified at follow-up. The experimental group did not significantly differ from the active control group, and the experimental group and the active control group showed significant improvements compared to the passive control group. Conclusions: Findings suggest that playing the serious game yields positive effects in promoting autonomy-supporting strategies compared to not receiving an intervention. The effects are comparable to reading the information based on which the game was developed.
- Autonomy-promoting strategy
- Serious game