Summaries - Office of Research & Innovation
Back Refinement and Validation of a Military Emotional Intelligence Training Program
|Division||Graduate School of Operational & Information Sciences|
|Investigator(s)||Shattuck, Nita L.|
|Sponsor||Department of Defense - Congressionally Direct Medical Research Programs (DoD)|
The goal of this multi-year project is to develop a brief, well-validated, internet-based training program designed to enhance Emotional Intelligence (EI) and resilience skills. The project directly addresses the need to develop psychological resilience among military service members and their families to promote well-being and prevent negative behavioral health outcomes.
Addressing this need is crucial; military personnel are often required to serve under dangerous and emotionally stressful conditions. Prolonged stress or exposure to intense, life threatening experiences, such as those encountered in combat or other hazardous duty deployments can increase the risk of developing mental health problems including depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Strengthening service members¿ emotional flexibility, adaptability and capacity to cope with adversity before they are faced with stressful experiences may be one way to minimize mental health problems. To fill this need, a training program was developed that focuses on enhancing Emotional Intelligence (EI) through a core set of trainable emotional skills that collectively include the capacity to understand, perceive, control, and use emotions effectively. The EI training program is brief, web-based, easily accessible, and sufficiently focused so that it can be completed by large numbers of military personnel with minimal time burden, leading to rapid enhancement of emotional skills. When tested in samples of healthy individuals, the training program successfully increased overall EI scores.
While preliminary testing has been successful, the EI program needs further research before it is ready for widespread use. Our study will focus on further assessing the efficacy of the EI training program on a sample of active duty service members studying at the Naval Postgraduate School. This program could have a significant effect in promoting resilience, interpersonal functioning, and brain health among Service members and their families, while reducing the likelihood of mental health problems among those returning from exposure to potentially traumatic experiences.
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