The Relation between Sociometric Choices and Group Cohesion
Final rept. Feb-Aug 2006
NATIONAL DEFENCE COLL HELSINKI (FINLAND)
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This research examined the relations between sociometric choices and group cohesion in soldiers in the Finnish Conscript Service. Data were collected from records and by survey and sociometric questionnaires given to 537 group members in 47 squads near the end of their 6 to 12 months of conscript training in Finland. Results showed moderate, significant correlations between the number of sociometric choices received and perceived cohesion such that Soldiers who were more often chosen as a friend or a combat partner felt that there was more cohesion in their group. Also, Soldiers who received more sociometric choices had higher expected personal and group performance, better performance as rated by their instructors, more positive attitudes toward military service and future refresher training, greater well-being during conscript service, and fewer exemptions from duty during their service. Groups where Soldiers made more in-group sociometric choices also were more cohesive based on questionnaire measures of cohesion. Overall, the findings suggest that individual sociometric choices and group-level sociometric cohesiveness are related modestly but positively to questionnaire-based cohesion measures and a wide range of criteria covering performance, attitudinal, and behavioral outcomes.
- Military Forces and Organizations