Sociometrics is the study of the patterned relationships between members of groups


Sociometrics is the study of the patterned relationships between members of groups. Data from such studies enable us to try to understand and adjust those currents of influence that unite or separate the individual members of any group.

Health, strength, and physique determine to a great extent what, and especially how well, a child plays. Play skills, in turn, are of major importance in companionship and friendship in the social relationship of children.

The physically excellent child has opportunity to lead in games and to learn thereby the very important techniques of leadership and cooperation.


Many studies demonstrate that athletic prowess contributes to social status. Tuddenham applied the Reputation Test to boys and girls in grades 1, 3, and 5. He found that athletic competence, daring, and leadership were sources of prestige for boys, while attractiveness and demure friendliness were important for girls.

It is found that in middle adolescence social excitement is directed toward the athletic leader or one who’s physical, dramatic, social, or intellectual skills give status.

McGraw and Tolbert reported a moderately high relationship between sociometric status and athletic ability in almost all groups of junior high school boys in a school.

Kuhlen and Lee studied 700 children in grades 6, 9, and 12. They found that those most acceptable were judged more frequently to be popular, cheerful, happy, enthusiastic, friendly, and those who would enjoy jokes and initiate games and activities.


Todd states that squads chosen on the basis of sociometric information are likely to produce happy, cooperative work and play. Furfey showed that when boys selected chums, physical development had a larger correlation with companionship than did intelligence.

It is found that members of athletic teams had higher social status than others not able to make the team. Along somewhat the same lines, Marks pointed out those boys with higher sports scores were more sociable than those with lower sports scores.

This indicates the social stimulus value of strength and physical ability among adolescent boys. However, at the sixth grade level, Austin and Thompson found that being “skilful in games” was sixteenth on the list of reasons for choosing someone as a friend.

In another study of reasons for choosing friends, Williams found that among adolescents such items as “full of fun,” “fair and square,” “good sport,” “athlete,” and the like were prominent.


Bretsch further verified that sports participation is related to social skills and activities of adolescents which distinguish socially accepted from unaccepted adolescents.

Wellman found that differences in size, strength, and health seemed to be more important factors in social adjustment than are moderate differences in intelligence.

With quite similar findings, Bower pointed out that popularity was unrelated to intelligence, height, home ratings, or school achievement but was significantly related to strength and to physical ability.

Lieb in pre-Bazi Germany found that both boys and girls mentioned physical superiority most frequently as a basis for leadership.


Success in the classroom and social status were investigated in three studies. Gronlund and Whitney showed that sociometric status in the classroom is a fairly reliable index of a pupil’s general social acceptability among his peers.

Busweel concluded from her study of a classroom of boys and girls in the early and upper grades that in general those who are succeeding the their school work will also be succeeding in their social relationships with their peers.

Bonney and Powell studying first graders, found that the highly acceptable differed from those sociometrically low by smiling more frequently; engaging in some form those sociometrically low by smiling more frequently; engaging in some form of cooperative, voluntary group participation; and making more voluntary contributions to their groups. They were also less likely to be alone during free play or activity periods.

Two investigators studied drop-out and social status. Kuhlen and Collester found that drop-out was related to such factors as health, unhappiness, and a sense of lack of status.


Kuhlen and Bretsch found that those who dropped out of school were less acceptable socially to their classmates and were judged by their classmates to possess traits of personal and social maladjustment

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