An integrated social group is one in which there is a great deal of social interaction within the group and people are bound together by such organizational bonds as common goals and purposes. A good team and a good school as miniature societies illustrate integrated social groups.
The quantity and quality of friendships developed by students in a physical education class or on an athletic squad should be a concern of a good teacher.
They are also personal concerns of students. In a well-integrated social group each individual would tend to accept every other individual in the group at a close personal distance.
Trapp revealed in his study the evidence of social integration possible in a college football squad. The process of social integration in the team, as a whole, was positive and continuous throughout the season. There was an increase of social acceptance of the freshman by the seniors.
There was a positive and continuous process of social integration between the members of the freshman class. The only subgroups showing an increase in social distance between them were the fraternity members and the independents within the squad.
As the season progressed, a decrease in social distance between the linemen was apparent. The backfield men were drawn closer to the lineman in personal distance as the process of social integration proceeded. Pubic used 326 freshmen and sophomore women in physical education classes in her study.
She reported that by placing emphasis on students becoming acquainted with each other as soon as possible, the volume of social interaction over a period of six weeks almost doubled in all cases, regardless of the type of activity.
Gustad in summarizing the research literature dealing with factors associated with social adjustment and maladjustment noted that those participating in social activities tended to have fewer significant scores on adjustment inventories and to exhibit less maladjustment.
They were generally more extroverted, stable, and dominant than non-participants. Participation in extracurricular activities was associated, also, with above average academic also to be brighter than the average student. There was no evidence that a reasonable amount of extracurricular activity affected grades.
Erwee found a positive statistical relationship between employee participation in the sports activities of a large industrial plant and the merit ratings of supervisors. The merit ratings were based on aspects of dependability, accuracy, efficiency, safety, and social adjustment.
Cowell found that some of the outstanding social traits which homeroom teachers, physical-education teachers, and special observers ascribed to actives and which differentiated between junior high school boys who participated wholeheartedly in the activities of the physical education program and those who did not were “unembarrassed and at home in a crowd,” “talkative and active,” “gave considerable leadership to the group,” “a good mixer,” “seems to like and seek social contacts,” and other social behaviours indicative of satisfactory adjustment.
It is concluded that students who were well adjusted as measured by the Neurotic Tendency Scale of the Bernreuter Personality Inventory tended to participate in more recreational sports activities and had more hobbies than their fellow students who indicated neurotic tendencies. These relationships were somewhat closer for men than for women.
Walters presented an analysis of the change in social adjustment of motivated and non-motivated groups in a seven-week bowling class.
The results seem to indicate that though both groups became more socially adjusted as a result of group participation and acquaintance, the motivated group became better adjusted than the non- motivated. The good bowlers seemed to be better accepted socially.