A Randomized Clinical Trial of Online Social Intelligence Training With Custodial Grandmothers

Gregory C. Smith, Frank J. Infurna, Megan Dolbin-MacNab, Britney Webster, Saul Castro, Daniel M. Crowley, Carol Musil, Luxin Hu, Gregory R. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: In this study, we investigated the efficacy of a self-administered, online Social Intelligence Training (SIT) program aimed at enhancing psychological and relational well-being among a nationwide U.S. sample of custodial grandmothers. Research Design and Methods: A two-arm randomized clinical trial (RCT) was conducted, where 349 grandmothers raising grandchildren aged 11–18 years were assigned to either SIT or an attention control condition (ACC). Participants self-completed online surveys at baseline and immediately postintervention, in addition to follow-ups at 3-, 6-, and 9-month postintervention. First-order latent difference score models were used to compare SIT to ACC, across all times of measurement, along key indicators of psychological and relational well-being on an intent-to-treat basis. Results: Although SIT was largely superior to ACC at yielding positive results, it appears that it attenuated longitudinal declines that occurred among ACC participants. SIT also exerted stronger effects on relational than psychological outcomes, with perceived relations with grandchildren being the most positively affected. Discussion and Implications: Given that the historical time of this RCT unpredictably corresponded with the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, we suspect that SIT helped offset declines in psychological and relational well-being that are widely documented to have resulted from the pandemic. Our overall positive findings support future use of the inexpensive and easily delivered SIT program under normal environmental conditions, with the vulnerable and geographically disperse population of custodial grandmothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbergnad079
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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