Social cognitive training improves emotional processing and reduces aggressive attitudes in ex-combatants

Sandra Trujillo, Natalia Trujillo, Jose David Lopez, Diana Gómez, Stella Valencia, Jorge Rendon, David Antonio Pineda, Mario Parra Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Emotional processing (EP) is a complex cognitive function necessary to successfully adjust to social environments where we need to interpret and respond to cues that convey threat or reward signals. Ex-combatants have consistently shown atypical EP as well as poor social interactions. Available reintegration programs aim to facilitate the re-adaptation of ex-combatants to their communities. However, they do not incorporate actions to improve EP and to enhance cognitive-emotional regulation. The present study was aimed at evaluating the usefulness of an intervention focused on Social Cognitive Training (SCT), which was designed to equip ex-combatants enrolled in the Social Reintegration Route with EP and social cognition skills. A group of 31 ex-combatants (mean age of 37.2, 29 men) from Colombian illegal armed groups were recruited into this study. Of these, 16 were invited to take part in a SCT and the other continued with the conventional reintegration intervention. Both groups underwent 12 training sessions in a period 12-14 weeks. They were assessed with a comprehensive protocol which included Psychosocial, Behavioral and Emotion Processing instruments. The scores on these instruments prior to and after the intervention were compared within and between groups. Both groups were matched at baseline. Ex-combatants receiving the SCT experienced significant improvements in EP and a reduction in aggressive attitudes, effects not observed in those continuing the conventional reintegration intervention. This is the first study that achieves such outcomes in such a population using SCT intervention. We discuss the implications of such results towards better social reintegration strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number510
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume8
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 20 Mar 2017

Fingerprint

Social Environment
Interpersonal Relations
Reward
Cognition
Cues
Emotions
Research Design
Social Skills
training
measurement method
reintegration
intervention
instruments
attitude
social cognition
reward
emotion
adaptation
threat
score

Keywords

  • Emotional Processing
  • Social Cognitive Training
  • Ex-combatants
  • Aggression
  • Intervention

Cite this

Trujillo, Sandra; Trujillo, Natalia; Lopez, Jose David; Gómez, Diana; Valencia, Stella; Rendon, Jorge; Pineda, David Antonio; Parra Rodriguez, Mario / Social cognitive training improves emotional processing and reduces aggressive attitudes in ex-combatants.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 8, 510, 20.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Social cognitive training improves emotional processing and reduces aggressive attitudes in ex-combatants. / Trujillo, Sandra; Trujillo, Natalia; Lopez, Jose David; Gómez, Diana; Valencia, Stella; Rendon, Jorge; Pineda, David Antonio; Parra Rodriguez, Mario.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 8, 510, 20.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Trujillo,Sandra

AU - Trujillo,Natalia

AU - Lopez,Jose David

AU - Gómez,Diana

AU - Valencia,Stella

AU - Rendon, Jorge

AU - Pineda,David Antonio

AU - Parra Rodriguez,Mario

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Trujillo S, Trujillo N, Lopez JD, Gómez D, Valencia S, Rendon J et al. Social cognitive training improves emotional processing and reduces aggressive attitudes in ex-combatants. Frontiers in Psychology. 2017 Mar 20;8. 510. Available from, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00510