Overview: A two-year randomized trial of middle-aged adults with a history of childhood trauma. Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of the SI course for individuals with a history of early life adversity. Early results show improvement of personal and professional relationships.


Objectives: To address whether the individual differences in risk attributable to childhood adversity are reversible through our social intelligence (SI) intervention for an established cohort of community residents who were part of a comprehensive study of biopsychosocial markers of resilience at Mid-Life. We have three primary objectives in this research:

1) To examine whether our SI intervention can enhance the capacity for rewarding social relations, especially for individuals with a history of early life adversitySocial Intelligence and National Institutes of Health

2) To examine evidence for our hypothesis that intervention-related gains in the quality of social relationship will be responsible for the improvements in psychological, and physical functioning, and influence two  bio-markers of  health risk and resilience : interleukin 6 (IL-6) and DHEA

3) To probe for individual differences in age, gender, history of abuse, personality, and genetic markers of risk that identify participants most responsive to the intervention.

To address these questions, we are delivering Social Intelligence training to a random-selected half of 220 middle-aged participants: Half with a history of child abuse and half who do not report abuse. The SI program is an on-line self-instructional series of videos with awareness exercises and behavioral practices designed to enhance fund of knowledge about relationships, increase skills, and enhance motivation to engage socially. In addition to charting social relations with daily diaries, we are assess participants’ social, psychological, and physical functioning at pre-test, post-test, three months, and six months following the intervention. We hypothesize that the SI intervention will prompt lasting improvement in the ability to establish, maintain, and benefit from social relations in comparison to controls, which will lead to better psychological and physical functioning.  We will examine evidence for the hypothesis that the benefits of the intervention will be largest for individuals who have experienced greater early childhood adversity, as well as probe other individual differences in receptivity to the SI program that will inform future efforts to refine, test and disseminate this innovative program.

National Institutes of Health and Social Intelligence Research

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Grant #R01AG048844

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency—making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.