Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Wendy Wolfe

Committee Member 1

Joshua Williams

Committee Member 2

Michael Nielsen


This quasi-experimental study investigated the effect of a table-top roleplaying game (ttrpg), specifically Dungeons and Dragons™ (D&D), on increasing feelings of social connection, decreasing perceived stress, increasing self-esteem and improving adjustment to college among first semester, first year students. participants signed up to either the D&D group or the comparison group. D&D participants (n = 18) attended five one-hour weekly D&D sessions, meanwhile the comparison group (n = 10) went through their first semester of college with no intervention, but completed the study measures at the same points in time as the D&D participants. All participants completed measures of social connection, adjustment to college, college stress, and self-esteem within the first two months of their first semester of college and again approximately six weeks later (after the D&D group met for five weeks). Participants in the D&D group demonstrated a significantly greater change in college stress than the comparison group, specifically a reduction in stress. Furthermore, the D&D group also demonstrated significantly greater personal-emotional adjustment to college (subscale of the student adaptation to college questionnaire). Given the substantial amount of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of D&D, it is integral to continue to examine evidential support for a game with increasing recreational popularity and potential therapeutic/interventional benefits.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material