Source: Virtual Human Interaction Lab | Stanford | Bailey, J.O. & Bailenson (in press). Examining Research with Children and Immersive Virtual Reality. Journal of Media Psychology..

What do we know about children and immersive virtual reality? Research shows virtual experiences impacting adults’ behaviors, thoughts, and social lives, yet little is known about users under the age of eighteen. This paper provides a state-of the-art review and content analysis of empirical studies on immersive virtual reality (IVR) and children, including a table with an overview of each study. The results from the analysis show a small number of existing studies. Four major research themes arise (pain distraction, education, assessment, media effects), and much of the existing research has focused on IVR use with clinical populations. Sample sizes varied greatly, and studies had small to extremely wide age ranges. In addition, little research examined the developmental media effects of IVR on children, particularly those in early childhood. The implications of these results, issues of cognitive development and IVR, and future research are discussed.

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