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Building social resilience in soldiers: A double dissociative randomized controlled study.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: July 01, 2015

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Other Survey

Secondary DoD Data Source:


Can social resilience be trained? We report results of a double-dissociative randomized controlled study in which 48 Army platoons were randomly assigned to social resilience training (intervention condition) or cultural awareness training (active control group). The same surveys were administered to all platoons at baseline and after the completion of training to determine the short-term training effects, generalization effects beyond training, and possible adverse effects. Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that social resilience, compared with cultural awareness, training produced small but significant improvements in social cognition (e.g., increased empathy, perspective taking, & military hardiness) and decreased loneliness, but no evidence was found for social resilience training to generalize beyond these training foci nor to have adverse effects. Moreover, as predicted, cultural awareness, compared with social resilience, training produced increases in knowledge about and decreases in prejudice toward Afghans. Additional research is warranted to determine the long-term durability, safety, and generalizability of social resilience training.


Cacioppo JT, Adler AB, Lester PB, McGurk D, Thomas JL, Chen HY, Cacioppo S. Building social resilience in soldiers: A double dissociative randomized controlled study. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2015 Jul;109(1):90-105.

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