Current practices in group work: An analysis of structure process and function in selected groups within certain Los Angeles group work agencies

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Sociology University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctpr of Philosophy

hy Clifford Marion Carey June 1942

UMI Number: DP31688

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T h is dissertation, w r i t t e n by



u n d e r the g u id a n c e o f h.JkS F a c u lt y C o m m itte e on S tudies, a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l its m em bers, has been p resen ted to a n d accep ted by the C o u n c il on G ra d u a te S tu d y a n d R esearch, in p a r t i a l f u l ­ f i l l m e n t o f re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f D O C T O R O F P H IL O S O P H Y

Secretary D a te . . ..June.t...19.42

Com m ittee on Studies

C hairm an



PAGE THE PROBLEM AND DEFINITION OF T E R M S ........... Introduction . . . . .


The p r o b l e m ................................


Statement of the p r o b l e m ...............


Summary of the p r o b l e m .................


Definition of terms u s e d ...................


G r o u p ....................................


Group w o r k ..............................


Group work a g e n c y ...................


Group a d v i s e r ............................


Natural leader


Group worker




.......................... .......................


P r o c e s s ............


F u n c t i o n ............


S t r u c t u r e ................................


Organization of m a t e r i a l ...................




Social process

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Range in usage of the concept


. . . .


As a single or complex process . . . .


As a normative, evolutionary, or analytical concept .................



FACE As a static, dynamic, or mechanical concept ................

. . . . . . .


As a philosophical, or methodological c o n c e p t .......................... 28 As "being” or "becoming”

. . ..... 29

I n t e r a c t i o n .......................... 30 Group p r o c e s s ........................ 32 Group work p r o c e s s .................


S u m m a r y ...............................34 III.

A REVIEW OF RELATED S T U D I E S ................ 37 "Studies of group dynamics . .......... . . . .


Friendship studies ........................


Furfey* s study of pairs of friends Williams1 report on adolescents

. .


. . . .


Wellman's investigation of companion­ ship

.................................. 40

Detroit Teachers1 College Study

. . . .


Busemann’s study of friendship

. . . .


Rombach’s analysis of *sympathie’ . . .


Hartshorns and May studies of behavior


Dimock’s analysis of factors in the choice of f r i e n d s ................ 42


PAGE Group s t u d i e s ............................


Studies of the g a n g .................


Techniques for measuring group adjust­ ment ................................


Fundamental elements in group adjust­ ment ................................


Measurement of ’sociality’ ...........


Thrasher’s study of the g a n g .........


Thomas’ study of social behavior . . .


Studies of group a d j u s t m e n t ...............


Influence of the g r o u p ............ . •


Greenberg’s studies of competition • .


Moede’s study of group influence . . .


Mayer’s report on rivalry



Murphy and Murphy’s summary of the in­ fluence of the group on behavior . . Individual adjustment in groups .........

50 51

Murchison’s generalizations on the in­ fluence of the social situation

. .


Moreno’s studies of human inter­ relations



Measures of leader-group adjustment



Social process studies ...................



Social process in organized groups






PAGE Ellsworth’s study of social process . . .


S u m m a r y ....................................




The social history technique ...............


The social history of a group


.. . . . . . .

Group o r i g i n s ..............


Group o r g a n i z a t i o n .....................


Group p e r s o n n e l .....................


Group l e a d e r s h i p ........................


Group c o n t r o l s .......................


Community relations . . . . . .



Activities and f u n c t i o n s .......... Methods of developing group histories

66 ...

Agency i n t e r v i e w ........ _ ........... Preliminary-soeial-history-interview

66 67

. .


Follow-up interview with the narrator . .


Interview with the group supervisor . . .




Group r e c o r d s ............................


Integration of social history data


Group interview


Additional sources of d a t a ............ Friendship records


74 74

Administration of friendship records .


Scoring the Friendship Record


. . . .


PAGE Program Practices Questionnaire ’. . . . .


MATERIALS AND M E T H O D S .......................... The selected groups


82 82

Age of group m e m b e r s .................


Group e n r o l l m e n t s ...............


Group t e n u r e ..........................


Indices of friendship



Character of the information


. . 88

Methods of treating d a t a ............... 71.








Types of formative p a t t e r n s .............


Imitation p a t t e r n ...................


Fabricated p a t t e r n ...................

. 96

Secession pattern



Exclusion pattern

......... . . . . .




Combination pattern

’Natural* p a t t e r n ...................... 100 Sequences in the formation of natural groups Physical proximity


103 104

Common i n t e r e s t s .......................... 105 Social p r o x i m i t y .......................... 106 Shared experiences Personal attachments






PAGE Patterns in ttLe formation of fabricated g r o u p s .................................. 110 Projection and response to leadership Projection in one person

* . .


. ........... 115

Projection in a c l i q u e ............... 116 Projection in multiple leadership . . . . Biffused leadership pattern Membership determination

118 . 119


Group recruiting practices


122 123

Agency influences in membership deterruination

.................. • • • • 129

Membership selection


Developing function and structure


132 133

Structural f o r m s ...................... 134 Gradations in status

................. 140

Stages in group development . . . . . . .


Adviser-member r e l a t i o n s h i p s ......... 143 Group controls and u n i t y ..................145 Parliamentary controls

. . . . . . . . .


Informal c o n t r o l s ...................... 151 Group u n i t y ............................ 152 VII.


. .


Locating and forming g r o u p s ............. 158 Locating groups .

........................ 158


PAGE Forming groups ............................


Practices in determining objectives ......... 164 Developing group structure



Group responses to dual structures and f u n c t i o n s ............................... 174 Program p l a n n i n g ............................. 180 Expressed member d e s i r e s ..................... 184 Group work therapy VIII.

................ 192

SUMMARY AND C O N C L U S I O N S ......................... 213 Summary



Methods of securing d a t a ...................213 Nature of d a t a ...............


Treatment of d a t a ......................... 215 Conclusions and implications



Group p r o c e s s e s ........................... 216 Patterns of formation .

.............. 216

Natural patterns of formation ......... 219 Fabricated patterns of formation



Projection and response to leadership . 223 Membership determination



Developing function and structure . . .


Group c o n t r o l s ......................... 232 Group work p r a c t i c e ....................... 234 Group formation and d i s c o v e r y .......... 234


PAGE Determining objectives Developing structures

........... £35 ...............

Program planning


........... £37

Expressed member d e s i r e s .......... ..


Group work t h e r a p y ................. £39 General s u m m a r y .......................... £41 Group work f i n d i n g s ......................


Patterns of group formation and mem­ bership



Group structures and functions . . . .


Developing programs and objectives . .


Group work t h e r a p y ..................£44 Sociological findings .........


Proposals for further investigation . . .


B I B L I O G R A P H Y ...................................... ..



A P P E N D I X ............................................. 263 AFPENBIX A.

Outline for the Preparation of a Social History of a G r o u p ......... £64


The Friendship Record . . . . . . . . .



Program Practices Questionnaire . . . .



Group Record Face S h e e t ............. £74


Selections from the social history m a t e r i a l s .......................... £75


PAGE History of "Our Club**.............. 276


Adviser's D i a r y ..................... *


Constitution of the Shooting Stars


Group Observation Record

. .




PAGE Score Values of Various Preference Rankings . .


Distribution of Groups by Type of Sponsoring A g e n c y ......................................... 83


Distribution of Groups by Average Age Range of M e m b e r s ..........


Enrollment in Fifty-One Groups at tbQ Time of Initial Interview .

V. VI.


.......................... 85

Frequency Distribution of Group Tenure

. . . .


Frequency Distribution of Indices of Friendship for Fifty-One Los Angeles G r o u p s ............. 87


Incidence of Formative Patterns in Fifty-One Los Angeles Groups



Formative Patterns in Relation to Median Index of Friendship, Enrollment and Tenure

IX. X.

Projection of Indigenous Leadership

. . . .

.......... 113

. .....................

. . . . . . .


Leadership Projection in Relation to Formative Patterns in Fifty-One Selected Groups . . . .



Leadership Projection in Relation to Group Tenure




Membership Enlistment Practices in Selected Groups in Relation to Median Index of Friend­ ship, Tenure, Enrollment, and Age of Members



PAGE Membership Enlistment Practices in SelectedGroups in Relation to Formative Patterns . . .



Order Arrangement of Ten Most Frequent Group Aims Reported by 150 Los Angeles Group A d v i s e r s ........................................ 166


Sources of Group Aims as Reported by 150 Los Angeles Group Advisers




Origins of Group Structure in .Relation to Median Age, Enrollment, Tenure and Index of F r i e n d s h i p ............


Sources of Program Plans as Reported by 150 Los Angeles Advisers



............................. 181

Methods Used in Locating Interests and Needs as Reported by 150 Los Angeles Advisers


Dominant Group Activities



................ 192

Group Records Reported by Fifty-One Los Angeles Groups ................................






Sample Computation of a Friendship Score . . . .



Sample Computation of an Acceptability Score . .



Projection of Leadership in One Person . . . . .


Projection of Leadership in a Clique Illustrated by Friendship Choices


.................. 118

Diffused Leadership Pattern Illustrated by Friendship Choices . . . . .


........... 117

Projection of Multiple Leadership Illustrated by Friendship Choices






Diffused Leadership Pattern Illustrated by Friendship Choices . . . .



CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM AND DEFINITION OF TERMS INTRODUCTION Generally speaking, the field of social work may he considered as composed of five major sections, namely, social case work, social group work, community organiza­ tion, social work administration, and social research.^ Of these five divisions, social group work has been one of the recent additions.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to

say that the development of the term "social group work" is of recent origin, for many agencies, which include them­ selves in the group work field, profess to have dealt with groups for many years prior to the coming of the so-called group work terminology.

As will be subsequently seen,

unanimity as to the name for this particular division of social work has not yet been reached.

Notions as to its

designation fluctuate primarily between education (group work education and informal education) and sociology and social work (group work and social group work).


of the division of opinion as to which terminology shall i Personal correspondence of the author, letter from Bessie A. McClenahan, University of Southern Cali­ fornia, March 10, 1942.

2 designate the technique related to work with groups (or work with individuals in groups as one "school* chooses to designate it), a significant number of groups and individu­ als are related to agencies using the group work method. The volume of group activity, reported by 182 local agencies in twenty-seven cities in the United States, to2 taled 1,144,000 participations in January, 1938. One agency, the Young M e n ’s Christian Association, reported for 1940 a total of 116,679 units of group activity (clubs, classes, teams, councils and committees), aggregating 2,332,393 different enrollments.

The operation

of these units involved the expenditure of a substantial part of the organization’s annual budget of approximately 3 forty-seven million dollars. If, in addition to evidence of the volume of group activity and the related expenditure of funds, one ex­ amines the statements of objectives and service claims ©f group work agencies, a further enhancement of the importance of the group approach and technique may be noted.


claims of "citizenship education," individual adjustment,

^ Social Statistics Supplement to The Child, III (December, 1938), p. 2. 3 Owen 32. Pence (ed.) , 1940 Yearbook of the Young M e n ’s Christian Association, (New York: AssocTation Press, 1941), p. 27.

3 personal accomplishment and achievement of status, social­ ization, and the development of social cooperation are liberally sprinkled through reports, manuals and handbooks. The addition of a group work section to the National Conference of Social Work was made in 1933,

In the inter­

vening years similar sections have made their appearance in most of the State Social Work Conferences. The development of a group work literature,


the ap­

pearance of group work sections in social work conferences, and the addition of group work courses in schools of social work are additional indications of the growth in importance of group work as a section of social work.

Such develop­

ments, in conjunction with the volume of reported group activity and the significance of stated agency objectives, prompted this study of the group activities sponsored by certain Los Angeles group work agencies. I.


Statement of the problem.

The problem of this

study is an analysis of the current practices in social group work through an examination of structure, process,

4 Margaretta Williamson’s The Social Worker in Group Work appeared in 1929, and since that date sixteen books and a large number of periodical articles have carried group work titles. See Bibliography, page 253.

4 and function in selected groups.

An attempt has been made

to orient this examination to a description of social process as evidenced in the social histories of groups. In addition to a general examination of current practices in social group work, attention was directed to three related questions.


What is the nature of the

processes, functions, and structures in the selected groups?


What methods are used to affect changes in

the structures, processes, and functions of groups sponsored by group work agencies?


How does "social

group work process" develop in relation to social process?^ As will be subsequently indicated, the development of "social group work process" has been examined both from the standpoint of the literature in the field of social process and group work, and also from the standpoint of relationships indicated between social process and "social group work process" in the social histories analyzed. The study of group processes in selected group histories, focalized in relation to social group work, differentiates the problem of this study from Grace Coyle’s analysis of Social Process in Organized Groups. Social group work as a method of social work, and its

5 see Chapter II for definitions of social process and social group work process.

5 relation to social process, were not included in Coyle’s study.6 It is anticipated that further understanding of social process as it relates to group activity, and particularly to social group work process, will facilitate the development of group work principles and methods.


this connection, Bogardus has indicated that: The group worker needs to he able to study group processes and to make community surveys, and most of all, to analyze the relationships among attitudes, group processes and community organization. The questions and problems indicated in the above paragraphs are portions of the general problem of sociology. Dwight Sanderson begins a recent article with the statement that "whatever else it may include, sociology deals primarily with the phenomena of groups or the forms of human association."8 And Lundberg comments that "the explanation of social groupings and their behavior as groups is generally regarded as the basic problem of sociology."


So it is contended that an examination of

$ Grace L. Coyle, Social Process in Organized Groups, (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1930). 7 Emory S. Bogardus, "Training Group Workers," Sociology and Social Research. XXIII (January - February, 1939), p. 268. 8 Dwight Sanderson, "Group Description," Journal of Social Forces. XVI (March, 1938) p. 309. 9 George A. Lundberg and Margaret Lawsing, "The Sociography of Some Community Relationships," American Sociological Review. II (June, 1935) p. 318.

6 soeial process in relation to social group work process and group work methods will contribute to the understanding of the nature of the group and will indicate a method of social work. A technique developed in connection with this study for developing the social history of a group, may be of value to group workers as an aid to further understanding group processes. Summary of the problem.

This study deals with an

examination of current practices in group work as evidenced in an analysis of structures, processes and functions in the social histories of selected groups in certain Los Angeles group work agencies. XI.


As a means for setting a working basis for dealing with the problem related to this study certain terms have been defined.

Included in the list of definitions are:

group, group work, group work agency, group adviser, natural leader, group worker, process, function, and structure.

The terms social process and social group work

process are extensively developed in Chapter II.

Group (primary).

The original and less technical

usage of the term "group" was outlined by Small, in 1905, as follows: The term group serves as a convenient sociological designation for any number of people, larger or smaller, between whom such relations are discovered that they must be thought of together. The group is the most colorless and general term used in sociology for combinations of persons. A family, a mob, a picnic party, a trade union, a city precinct, a corporation, a state, a nation, the civilized or un­ civilized population of the world may be considered as a group. Thus a group for sociology is a number of persons whose relations to each other are suffi­ ciently impressive to demand attention.10 Newer conceptions of the group, however, require the working out of a number of essential distinctions, for there are many relationships that may cause persons to be thought of together.

Various writers make distinctions between

mere statistical togetherness, physical togetherness, and psychological togetherness.

Classifications into groups

on the basis of age, occupation, etc., for statistical purposes, represent a general non-technical use of the term group.

Physical togetherness may be thought of in the sense

of purely spatial, impersonal, bodily proximity.


proximity may be spontaneous and prolonged over periods of time, and yet still be lacking in an essential element of

^ A l b i o n W. Small, General Sociology.(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1905), p. 495.

8 the group as used in a strictly sociological sense*


physical togetherness is no guarantee of interest or sympathetic understanding.

In this connection, however,

the conclusion of Thrasher, that sheer nearness is one of the most important factors in making hoys gang together should not he overlooked.


Psychological togetherness may be considered as designating mental interaction, such as that involved in the deliberative assembly, the committee, or the seminar. Still another form of togetherness, from the standpoint of social psychology, might involve social interaction, characterized by mutual self-identification of members, like mindedness, and a consciousness of ”we.”

In this

connection, Eubank concludes that ”a group may be regarded as an entity, of two or more persons, in active or suspended psychic interaction.”


In any case it seems fair to assume that groups are fundamentally constituted on the basis of interests which hold their members together.

The interests may be cen­

tered in the persons composing the group, or in some cause, purpose or activity, or in some symbol for which the group Frederick Thrasher, The Gang, (Chicago: Univer­ sity of Chicago Press, 1927), p. 26. 12 Earle E. Eubank, The Concepts of Sociology, (Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1932), p. 163.

9 stands, or in some combination of two or more of these factors.

Such interests may cover a wide range, and vary

from a mere passing interest of a momentary aggregate, to a relatively permanent and functional interest which creates and maintains a cohesive unit*




that while a similarity of object may lead to close cooperation in pursuit of that object, it does not necessarily imply a coincidence of motive and still less any real sense of community among the members who unite to pursue it.

If dissimilarity of motive is absent it may

create a sense of community, and "may convert a several into an associative want.”


As sociologists have attempted to clarify the concept of the group a number of different terms as designations for types of groups have arisen.

Thus the terms "primary group"

and "secondary group" have developed.

The concept of the

primary group was first introduced by Cooley, and is con­ sidered by many sociologists to be one of his most important contributions to the advancement of sociology as a science. His conception is clearly reflected in the following para­ graph : By primary group I mean those characterized by intimate face-to-face association and cooperation.

13 G-.D.H. Cole, Social Theory. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 19£0), p. 35. 14 Loc. cit.

10 They are primary in several senses, but chiefly in that they are fundamental in forming the social nature and ideals of the individual.15 Bodenhafer points out that ,fthe reason why these [jprimaryJ groups are so important and powerful in engraft­ ing the fundamental social traditions on the growing generation is that the meanings of these traditions are accompanied, to a large extent. by actual behavior.


are thus a part of the activity of the child rather than being mere precepts Out of these statements and their subsequent inter­ pretations has grown the identification of three criteria that are assumed to identify the primary group.

They are:

face-to-face association, temporal priority in expression, and the feeling for the whole for which ”w e ,f is the natural expression.

These criteria have been rather widely used in

the identification of primary groups, and because of undue emphasis upon the face-to-face relationship and temporal priority have tended to obscure Cooley’s true meaning in his definition of the primary group. Charles H. Cooley, Social Organization. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1969), p. 23. Walter B. Bodenhafer, ^Comparative Role of the Group Concept in W ard’s Dynamic Sociology and in Con­ temporary American Sociology,” American Journal of Sociol­ ogy. XX\TC (November, 1920), p. 449. Italics mine.

11 Faris has called attention to a number of ambigui­ ties in this connection.

He points out that there are a

number of face-to-face groups that are formal institutions and therefore are not to be considered'as primary groups. Behavior in the primary group is generally spontaneous, but in institutionalized relationships behavior is usually formal, impersonal, and regulated.

As relations become

more regulated and mechanical they lose their effectiveness in generating distinctly human elements.17 Bogardus analyzes the group as a basic concept of group work in these terms; It is the primary group in which human beings develop their primary or basic ideals of life and character in natural unconscious ways, and without outside direction and dominance. It is in the normal give and take of primary group activities that leadership and followership emerge and that personality development occurs.18 Temporal priority seems also to have been more or less accidentally associated with the concept of the primary group.

Adults form primary groups, so it would

seem that priority in experience is not a fundamental criterion for the concept.

Cooley’s assertions at this

point carry no implications for temporal priority as such. 17 Ellsworth Faris, "Primary Group: Essence or Accident," American Journal of Sociology* XXXFIII (July, 1932), p. 45. 18 Emory S. Bogardus, "Basic Concepts in Group Work," Sociology and Social Research, XXIII (November-December, 1938), p. 162.

12 His meaning is stated in terms of the function of primary groups in the shaping of the social ideals and nature of the individual.

The determining factor in shaping of the

individual’s social nature seems to he covered by the term "intimate association," giving prominence to the third criterion for the primary group, namely, the feeling for the whole and mutual identification for which "we" seems to be the best expression. The term "group," as used in subsequent discussions, involves basic aspects of many of the definitions indicated above.

These are:

a multiplicity of units i.e. persons;

the fact of interaction; an awareness of unity; and signif­ icance of the group in the development of personality. Within the limits set by these basic group characteristics social group work takes place. Group Work.

While definitions of group work are as

yet tentative, it is possible to discern several important uniformities in the definitions offered by various writers in the field.

As will be subsequently seen, most defini­

tions of group work involve some combination of emphases upon objectives, processes, fields or methods.

Some of the

confusion now evident in the use of the term group work grows out of the variety of attempts to cover field, process, and method with an interchangeable concept.


13 one point group work refers to a field of social work; at another point the same term refers to a general movement re­ lated to the importance of the group in developing personal­ ity; and at still a third point, group work refers to the application of a specific set of techniques and methods. In so far as this study is concerned, the use of group work as a designation for a movement, characterized by a resurgence of interest in the importance of group ex­ perience in personality development, is of minor importance. Sociologists have been pointing to this fact for a number of years.

The apparent lag in the appreciation of the im­

portance of the group in the growth of persons has created the current situation, wherein haste to overtake the lag has resulted in the emergence of movement characteristics. These characteristics seem to indicate a temporary condi­ tion, and lead to the conclusion that usage of group work to refer to movement connotations is of passing importance. The use of group work as a term covering a particular field or area of work, and as a concept for a set of tech­ niques and methods does not appear to represent a temporary development.

It does seem desirable to indicate some dif­

ference in the usage of the concept as it applies to field and method.

The extent to which it is desirable to make

some differentiation is apparent in the following summari-

14 zation of several group work definitions, Uniformities in group work definitions center around at least four major items, namely, objectives, field covered, processes involved, and methods used. formities include:

These uni­

(1) group work involves an educational

process;19 (2) it is carried on in leisure time;20 (3) it is based on common interests, affectional responses, and psychological intimacy;

(4) it is a voluntary association,

under trained leadership,22 for the purpose of promoting one or more of the following objectives:

(a) the socialization

of persons;25 (b) the acquisition of skills, knowledge and attitudes;2^ (o) the acceptance of social responsibility and cooperation;25 and (d) the facilitation of social action.26 As will be readily seen from this summarization, group work 19 Henry M. Busch, Leadership in Group Work, (New York: Association Press, 1927), p. 27. 20 Grace L. Coyle, nWhat is this Social Group Work?" The Survey Midmonthly, LXXE (May, 1935), p. 138. 21 Neva Boyd, Report of Group Work Seminar, Chicago Council of Social Agencies, 1933 (mimeographed), p. 1. 22 Busch, loc. cit. 23 Bessie A. McClenahan, f,Beveloping a Better Under­ standing Between Social Group Workers and Social Case Workers,w Sociology and Social Research, XX (SeptemberOctober, 1935), p . 51. 24 Buseh, loc. cit. 2^ £2£* Qifr * 2 6 w . I. Newstetter, Proceedings: National Conference of Social Work, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1925), p. 291.

15 as a concept lacks the incisiveness necessary for re­ search purposes.

It is proposed therefore to indicate

working definitions for group work as a field and as a method. Group work, as a method, involves the process of selective application of educational and democratic tech­ niques to group processes in the interests of the social­ ization of individuals. Social group work, as a field of social work, in­ cludes those agencies and workers engaged in the applica­ tion of group work methods in adjustive, correctional efforts. It is not assumed that group work as a method is to be limited to the field of social group work as defined above.

Evidence is at hand of the application of group

work methods in the fields of formal and informal educa­ tion, recreation, and physical education.

Group work, as

a method, deals with group processes in whatever field they may occur, and does not necessarily refer only to an "educational process."

The process involved in group work

might also be designated as a "democratic process," a "social or group process," as well as an "educational process."

The fact that group work deals with the re­

current changes within groups is of major significance.


Educational, democratic, and social work objectives are obtained through the application of educational, democratic, or social work methods to such changes.

The examination of

these recurrent changes, in relation to the application of techniques and methods in group work situations, is a major concern of this report.

Results of this examination

are reported in Chapter VII. Newstetter*^ introduced the term ttgroup work processw as a covering description for what is here described as group work in terms of method.

Little attention has been

given to the former aspect of group work at this point.


has been treated at some length in connection with discus­ sions of social process in the following chapter.

It might

be said, however, that in the main what is here described as group work, in terms of method, is essentially the same as Newstetter*s ,fgroup work process.* Croup work agency.

Croup work agency, as used in

this report, designates those agencies in which one or more paid staff workers are engaged in the application of tech­ niques to group processes in the interests of socializing individuals.

Socialization, in this sense, is presumed

^ W. I. Newstetter, Croup Adjustment: A Study in Experimental Sociology, (Cleveland: Western Reserve School of Applied Social Sciences, 1938), p. E.

17 to occur through the interaction of personalities in directed groups.

It is not contended that agencies subse­

quently classified as group work agencies make group work their sole method of procedure.

Classification here is

based, however, upon1group work being one of the pre­ dominant methods of the agency, and also upon the tendency of the agency to identify itself with group work sections of Conferences of Social Work and Councils of Social Agencies. Group adviser.

Group adviser, as used in the fol­

lowing pages, refers to the usually more mature person, selected from outside the group through agency or group invitation.

The adviser aids in directing the group’s

activity and facilitates the application of group work methods to the processes of interaction within the group. In the main, this concept is in agreement with Swift’s statement that the leader (group adviser) ”is not the natural leader, himself a member of the group and by it selected for leadership, but the superimposed leader from outside the group, usually more mature and with a richer background of experience and culture.”28 It should be pointed out, however, that while many group advisers do 28 Arthur L. Swift, Mew Trends in Group Work, Joshua Lieberman, editor, (Mew York: Association Press, 1938), p. 152.

18 come from outside the groups they lead, they are not all necessarily superimposed.

As has been indicated, the

group itself may have a definite role in the selection and enlistment of the group adviser. Natural leader.

The term "natural leader" refers to

the leadership which is selected by the group from within its own membership.

This type of leadership, subsequently

referred to as the indigenous leadership, grows out of the spontaneous selective processes within the group itself. As Thrasher points out, however, the process whereby the natural leader attains his position may be quite unplanned, so far as the members themselves are concerned.


Natural leadership, particularly in boys groups, is apt to be power driven.

Thrasher describes this drive in

terms of gameness, and suggests that: The natural leader of a gang is a very different person from the leader of a conventional group chosen in some formal way, and in gangs which elect officers, the natural leader may not be selected for office. His dominance of the group, however, is none the less real.3U Group worker.

Group workers have two major func­

tions, namely, the administration of agencies, and the supervision of group work.

While it is apparent that the

29 Thrasher, 0£. cit., p. 351. 30 ibid., p . 345.

19 administrative functions can be carried on in such a fashion as to involve group work methods, it is the super­ visory functions of the group worker which seem most im­ portant in connection with this report. The group worker, as the group supervisor, relates himself to group advisers, natural leaders, groups, and group members to secure the most efficient application of group work techniques to the group processes in which they are involved.

The group worker tests the effectiveness

of the application of methods by their effects upon persons. x Process. changes.

A process is any recurrent series of

Bogardus describes a social process as "any rerzp

curring series of social changes." ^ This concept of process and social process serves as the basis for a sub­ sequent analysis of social process and group work process in Chapter II. Function.

Function has been interpreted as meaning

the normal and characteristic action of groups and their members in achieving group and individual purposes.

Charles 33. Hendry, New Trends in Group W o r k , Joshua Lieberman (ed.), (New York: Association Press, 1938), p. 172. 32 Emory S. Bogardus, Contemporary Sociology, (Los Angeles: University of Southern California Press, 1932), p. 241.

BO Structure.

The term "structure" includes the

established group relationships and agreed upon instruments for the achievement of group and individual objectives. Structures, normally, are outgrowths of functions, and represent means for attaining group ends.

This usage, has

been indicated by Coyle in the following terms: The structure of a group consists of the agreed upon instruments through which the group puts its purposes into action. Organization of material.

Succeeding chapters of

this report include the following materials:

(1) an

analysis of social process and group work process; (E)

a review of studies related to group work;

(3) a

description of the social history technique of social research;


an enumeration of data secured through

the use of social histories of groups; of selected group processes;

(5) an analysis

(6) a description of certain

group work techniques and methods;

and (7) the summary

and conclusions growing out of the analysis of the data. 33 Coyle, o£. cit., p. 79.

CHAPTER II SOCIAL PROCESS AM) CROUP WORK PROCESS The theoretical foundation of group work has its roots in several of the social sciences*

From the stand­

point of the present problem, however, the field of sociology seems to be the most significant.

Major atten­

tion has been given, therefore, to an indication of some of the sociological connections of group work.

An appre­

ciation of the relation of "group work process" and "group process" to "social process" is essential in any current consideration of group work practices and problems. It is proposed, therefore, to include in this chapter an analysis of social process from the standpoint of socio­ logical literature and a discussion of the relation of social process, group process and. group work process. Social process.

A brief review of sociological

literature dealing with the concept of social process re­ veals a variety of definitional emphases.

These emphases

have been indicated in subsequent paragraphs as a basis for the development of the current usage of social and group process.

They have been arranged on the basis of

the incisiveness of the particular emphasis, the extent to which the selection represented an extensive summarization


of other sociological contributions, and the importance of the interpretations made by the writers quoted. The variations in conceptual interpretations of the term ^social processw may be classified on the basis of emphases made in dealing with the following questions. (1) Is social process a single, all-inclusive process, or a complex of many processes?^ (2} Does social process have normative, evolutionary, or analytical implications?2 (3) Does social process have static and mechanical char­ acteristics, or dynamic and historical characteristics?® (4) Is social process a scientific, philosophical, or methodological concept?^ (5) Does social process represent action in specific situations, or the relationships exist­ ing when the action takes place?® The concept "social process* has been used to iden­ tify recurrent changes over this entire range of questions. Further confusion has resulted from the interchangeable usage of social process and group process.

In the current

analysis, an attempt has been made to indicate specific 1 Clarence M. Case, Social Process and Human Prog­ ress , (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1951T, p. 33. 2 Earle E. Eubank and Read Bain, in Social Problems and Social Process, Emory S. Bogardus, editor, fChioago: University of Chicago Press, 1932), pp. 105 and 114. 3 Case, o p . cit., Chapter III, especially p. 33. 4 Bain, o p . cit.. pp. 105-107. 5 Eubank, o£. cit.. p. 115.

23 meanings for group process and social process as they relate to group work. Contrasting emphases in dealing with the question as to whether social process is a single or a complex process are to be noted, for example, in the writings of Small, Cooley, and Ross.

Small, one of the first American

sociologists to make use of the t e m process, wrote of the social process, which he thought of as "the incessant evolution of persons through the evolution of institutions which evolve completer persons, who evoke completer insti­ tutions and so o n . C o o l e y dealt with social process without the use of limiting or descriptive adjectives, emphasizing its character in terms of cyclical, adaptive growth.7 Ross emphasized the complexity of the social process, and described a total of thirty-eight social processes.8 The difficulty at this point involves the question of identifying "total becoming" or "total adaptive growth" as the content of social process, or of assigning the concept to those smaller recurrent doings which take place within the larger movements.

Case has noted that

^ Albion W. Small, General Sociology, (Chicago.: University of Chicago Press, 1905), p. 552. 7 Charles H. Cooley, Social Process, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918), p. 3, and Chapter III. 0 Edward A. Ross, Principles of Sociology, (New York: The Century Company, 1931).

84 ”when. we use the word ’process,1 it may denote either the historical becoming of a comprehensive and unique society and culture, or the smaller, recurrent doings which take Q place within it.” It does not seem necessary to make an ”either or” choice between "historical becoming” and ”the smaller, recurrent doings,” for as Case suggests each is


an aspect of the other. . It seems desirable, however, to propose a specific usage for both group process and social process.


processes are thus considered as relating to those smaller, on-going, characteristic, recurrent social changes which take place within specific group boundaries.

In a like

sense, social process represents characteristic integration of these smaller, recurrent changes across group boundaries. Social process is, accordingly, used throughout this re­ port as an over-all concept, representing the integration of smaller recurrent changes into a ”total becoming.” Such integration is apparently exemplified in the develop­ ment of persons and social institutions. Some support for this usage of the social process concept is indicated by Coyle in her statement that the individual ’’remains more than the sum of his group in-

9 Case, o£. cit. , p. 33. 10 I b i d ., pp. 33-35.

25 terests ." H A second major usage of social process involves a variety of normative, evolutionary and analytical emphases. Normative use of the concept has at times approached the point of complete identification of social process with social progress and a specific scale of social values. Bain points out that the normative aspects of social • process arose as "a protest against both static, descrip­ tive sociology, and the normative implications of social progress and evolution.”^2 This protest appears to have been partially in error, however, to the extent that it assumed a normative standard to be inherent in the series of recurrent changes designated as the social process. Changes, in themselves, may be for better or for worse. An illustration of this possibility is set forth by Suther­ land in his statement that: One of the significant conclusions derived from the study of delinquents from the point of view of social process. . . is that the social process by which de­ linquent behavior develops is the same as the social process by which non-delinquent behavior d e v e l o p s . 13 In using social process in an evolutionary sense, 11 Grace L. Coyle, Social Process in Organized Groups, (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1930), p. '4. 12 Bain, o p . cit., p. 105. 13 1. H. Sutherland, Social Problems and Social Process, Emory S. Bogardus, editor, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1932), p. 50.

26 the same type of criticism as has been indicated for normative usage might also be advanced. refers to adaptive growth.

Evolution usually

As such the adaptation, or

change, may represent progression or retrogression in terms of normative implications. It would seem desirable to relate normative impli­ cations primarily to the concept of social progress, and to use evolutionary implications sparingly, if at all, in re­ lation to social process.

On those occasions where evolu­

tionary implications are attributed to social process, it should be clearly understood that such usage contains the possibility of social retrogression as well as progression. The analytical approach to social process, according to Eubank, deals with process ftas going on now, as activity per

Treatment of social process from this standpoint

is usually in terms of what takes place when action occurs; as "being" rather than as a part of historical "becoming." Such treatment results in an emphasis upon a multitude of constituent processes, which are involved in a complex process. A third aspect of this analysis deals with the ques­ tion:

Does social process have static and mechanical char­

acteristics, or dynamic and historical characteristics?



cit., p. 114.

27 Case summarizes one answer to this question with the state­ ment that: . . • Social process is a becoming— a series of causally related changes which accumulate and are carried forward through time as the experience of persons and groups of persons. It includes social lcchanges. . . It also embraces cultural changes. . . This is essentially a description of social process in dynamic and historical terms, and represents an approach to the concept through the method of synthesis. A contrasting approach is to be noted in terms of 1 C

’’minute dissection and measurement.”

Such minute analysis

represents the attempts of social scientists to apply the methodology of the natural science field to social science problems. The dynamic nature of the social process is indicated in Bogardus1 suggestion that Mthe social process is the in17 tegration of the series and modes of social change.r,aIn a quotation from Jacobs1 German Sociology, cited by Lichtenberger, some of the fundamental aspects of the historical, all-inclusive, point of view as originally ad­ vanced by Ratzenhofer are illustrated.

From this material

it appears that Ratzenhofer introduced not only the notion

Case, o p . cit.. p. 326. 16 I b i d .. p. 35. 17 jEmory s . Bogardus, Contemporary Sociology. (Los Angeles: University of Southern California Press, 1932)* p . 241.

of process as "the entirety of those men and social struc­ tures who stand in inter-relation with one another," but also the conception that its composition was in terms of 18 the inter-actions and interrelations of the members. "Historical," as a term related to social process, seems to refer most to total becoming in a cumulative sense, and involves unique, non-recurrent combinations of human experience.


This suggests that any attempts to deal

with the concept "social process" should be made on the basis of the use of the method of synthesis. A fourth problem, related to the use of the social process concept, is concerned with whether social process qualifies as a scientific, a philosophical, or a methodolog­ ical concept.

One aspect of this problem is illustrated in

Bai n ’s contention that social process is a convenient methodological device for designating types of social be­ havior, but that the process is lacking in value as a 20 scientific concept. Bogardus suggests, however, that social interaction, an illustration

of social process as



James P. Lichtenberger,Development of Social Theory. (New York: The Century Company, 1923}, pp. 441-48, citing P.P. Jacobs, German Sociology. Doctor's dissertation, Columbia University, New York, 1909. 19 Case, ££. cit.. p. 37. 20 Bain, op. cit., p. 105.

29 all social processes, does have research value when analyzed into its component parts.


It would appear that minute analysis of "spatial relations, boundaries and ’position*" validates social process as a scientific concept.

The limitations of this

methodology have been indicated in its failure to reveal the "vital content" of social life,


A full understanding

of the form and content of social life apparently requires a coordinated use of scientific, methodological, and philosophical conceptions of social process. The fifth question related to the use of social process is raised by Eubank in his description of the analytical approach as involving activity per se; as "being" rather than "becoming."


The question involves a choiee

between action in a given situation, and the relationships existing while the action takes place.

In its comprehensive

and complex aspects, social process seems to require an emphasis upon the meanings and relationships of situations. Emphases in this direction stress "becoming."

A n analysis

of social process in terms of "activity per se" represents a limited conception of the process. 21 E m o r y s. Bogardus, editor, Social Problems and Social Process, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, X $ S 2 ) , pp. x-xi. 22 Case, op. cit., pp. 34ff. 23 Eubank, op. cit., p. 114.

30 The methods of analysis and synthesis have both been employed in this study of current practices in group work. For example, ”minute dissection and measurement” has been employed in the development of group indices of cohesive­ ness based on friendship choices.

The methods of compari­

son and analysis have been employed in identifying and describing group processes.

Some use has also been made

of the method of synthesis in developing patterns and uniformities from the records and reconstructed experiences 24 of group members. Interaction.

The fundamental social process from

Bogardus1 point of view is interaction.

”It is the frame­

work and dynamics of all social relationship,” he writes, and the ”warp and woof of social structure, the mechanism which gives integration to human society.”



is the medium of interaction, and imitation and suggestion are its mechanisms Interaction, ”the process of giving and responding to stimuli,” provides the machinery through which both the primary group, a miniature society, and the comprehensive

24 See Chapter Y, below for a discussion of methods used in this study. 2^ Bogardus, Contemporary Sociology. p. 242. Robert E. Park and Ernest W. Burgess, Introduction to the Science of Sociology. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 192TJ", p. 341.

31 and unique society are achieved.

Interaction among members

of a group is based upon social forces or drives.


The process of interaction may involve very casual contacts,'but may also include those basic contacts which give rise to the psychological and emotional intimacy so basic in the formation and control of attitudes and be­ havior.

As Young has suggested the purposes and structures

of groups are "bound up with the interactional patterns that go with" a particular group’s existence.


accordingly, the.special social processes are "simply the particular forms which the interactions take in terms of the functions of the group."28 Interaction, and its attendant vehicle, communica­ tion, form the basis for the development and union of social experience.

Groups and cultures may be thought of as aris­

ing out of interaction.

They do so in terms of streams of

social experience uniting from their composing units, namely, persons.

This conception of interaction serves as

a convenient basis for the development of the concept "group process."

Loran D. Osborn and Martin H. Neumeyer, Community and Society, (New York: American Book Company, 1933] p. 301. Kimball Young, Source Book for Sociology, (New York: American Book Company, 1935) , p • 348.

32 Group process.

A group process is the integration

of interaction patterns within specific group boundaries. "With the beginning of group experience in interaction,** say Osborn and Neumeyer, "the social process as a whole and the various social processes therein are in operation."


In so far as these various processes are related to specific groups, they may well be designated as group processes. Group process, as subsequently used, refers to the integration of interaction patterns evidenced in the smaller, on-going, characteristic, social changes which occur within specific group boundaries.

These recurrent

changes may operate within the framework of an all-inclusive conception of the social process.

But such changes appear

to have meanings in terms of their repeated occurrence within specific group experiences, as well as in terms of the larger social process. Group work process.

This process has been described

as: A conscious modification of the group process through the application of group work techniques, not necessarily on the basis of a fixed or pre­ arranged sequence, but primarily on the basis of the new situation arising in each modification of the group process. This. . . further modifies the social process in the group. And the modified social process provides the basis primarily for the

29 Osborn and Neumeyer, o p . cit., p. 306.

33 selection of the next technique. It is this reciprocal process just described that we may call the group work process.3-0

•b m h m


m M M M H H M a a

Bogardus offers a simplified analysis of group work process in his statement that group work process ^is the group process in which the natural leadership is sup•X"\

plemented by an artificial leadership.* A While both of the above definitions of group work process are stated in terms of process, they are essen­ tially descriptions of method.

Group work process is a

method involving the alternate application and withdrawal of techniques and methods on a non-sequential, but never­ theless planned basis.

The selective application of

techniques consciously to modify the group process produces further social changes.

The extent to which changes are

produced within specific groups as a result of the applica­ tion of group work techniques is held to be indicative of the existence and operation of a group work process. Examination of the social histories of a number of selected groups for evidences of the existence of such a process is a primary concern of this investigation.

For, as one

author points out, socially conditioned behavior can best 30 W. I. Newstetter, Group Adjustment: A Study in Experimental Sociology. (Cleveland: Western Reserve University, 1938}, p. 3. 51 Emory 8. Bogardus, ,fBasic Concepts in Group Work,** Sociology and Social Research, XXIII (Hovember-Becember, 1938), p. 163.

34 be modified by changing the character of the group that influences the i n d ividuals behavior, or by introducing the 32 individual into some other group. To these two sugges­ tions, the present writer would add a third, namely, the creation of new groups for the specific purpose of modify­ ing particular expressions of behavior. Group work process grows out of the application of selected techniques to group processes.

Group processes

have been indicated as parts of the larger social process. A part of the methodology of this study has been based, therefore, upon the assumption that an analysis of group process and group work process would provide material useful in the study of social process. Summary.

Certain drives, resident in individuals,

cause them to interact in social situations.


through various forms of communication provides a basis for the development of group processes, and constitutes a basic concept in the methodological approach to this analysis of current group work practice. Group process has been defined as the integration of interaction patterns within specific group boundaries. Social process has been considered as the integration 32 Earle E. Eubank, The Concepts of Sociology. (Hew York: D. C. Heath and Company, 19&2), p. 130.

35 of group processes into a total dynamic movement, resulting in the development of a person, a culture, or a society. Such movement carries with it both the possibility of de­ cline as well as ascent in a normative sense, and operates reciprocally upon persons, cultures and societies.


social process seems to be a "complex thing with many aspects.”

Some of these many aspects, group processes,

constitute the framework of group work. Group work process has been defined as the conscious application of group work techniques to group processes on a non-sequential basis for the purpose of socializing group 33 members, and adjusting the group to other groups. Group work, accordingly, has been considered as a division of the social work field, and, as such, a contributory current in the main stream of social process.

The term "social group

work” has been suggested as a designation for the special­ ized, preventive, correctional and therapeutic application of group work methods in the social work field. Group work process has not been considered as an end in itself, but as a means to socialized ends,

kike the

33 Socialization is "the process of working to­ gether, and of developing group responsibility.” It is characterized by "genuine and wholesome identification of a person.with the welfare of other persons, of his own groups, and of other groups." Emory S. Bogardus, Sociology. (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1934), pp. 80-81.

group process upon which it is based, group work process, with its normative implications, is only one of many re­ current changes within the comprehensive social process.

CHAPTER III A REVIEW OF RELATED STUDIES With one or two exceptions, the studies related to social group work have been centered very largely in the analysis of and experimentation in the social life of chil­ dren*

Two of the most notable of these exceptions, dealing

with adult group life, are Coyle’s study of Social Process in Organized Groups. and Moreno’s study of institutional behavior reported in Who Shall Survive?

jSince neither of

these studies indicated any singularly outstanding differ­ ences in emphasis, procedure, or conclusions, it is pro­ posed to include them within the general outline in which all related studies have been classified.

The major divi­

sions into which the studies have been arranged include: (1) studies of group dynamics, of factors related to ’’ganging” and group formation; (2) studies of group adjust­ ment, of the influence of group experience on behavior and attitudes; and (3) studies of social process as such. As will be readily seen, these three categories are not mutually exclusive, but they do indicate a convenient basis for organizing the studies selected for inclusion in this review.

Included in the large number of projects not

covered in this report were many researches in the field of formal education, dealing with the purely technical aspects

38 of measuring intelligence and group placement with reference to ability.

Other studies involving the use of highly

specialized psychological tests and statistical treatment, and studies of agencies as such, were omitted except in such cases as may have specific conclusions of immediate import in group work.

The projects selected were treated to show a

minimum of detail about methods of securing data, scoring, and other statistical procedures.

Maximum attention was

given to findings, inferences, and conclusions. I. STUDIES OF GROUP DYNAMICS The research on group dynamics may be roughly classi­ fied as studies of friendship, leadership, and group forma­ tion.

In characterizing the differences in social behavior

of children, Murphy and Murphy pointed out that in the social behavior of older children (eleven to fourteen years) friendships were more intimate and stable, natural leaders were more important, and groups were more permanent than similar behavior of younger children (pre-school to ten y e a r s ) S t u d i e s of these differences constitute an intro­ duction to the experimental analysis of association. Friendship studies.

Investigations of the intimacy

1 Gardner Murphy and Lois Barclay Murphy, Experimental Social Psychology, (New York: Harper and Brothers, T93T77 p"."342'. -----

39 and stability of friendships (affectional responses) have a significant relationship to this study, for the factors related to the development of the "intimate association" of friends are important forces in group formation. While Thrasher points out that sheer nearness or proximity seems to be a dominant factor in the formation of boys* p gangs, one is inclined to question why, given proximity, a particular individual is chosen in a friendship rela­ tionship or group situation in preference to some other individual? Furfey sought an answer to this question.

He found a

correlation of +.37 ±.07 between the developmental ages of 3 pairs of friends. Developmental age was measured by a series of tests designed to show the stage of social devel­ opment reached by the sixty-seven pairs of friends studied. Significant correlations were also reported for common neighborhood areas and school grades.

The setting of these

latter correlations naturally suggests the importance of proximity as a factor in the formation of friendships. Williams reported data on adolescent friendships purporting to show that a similarity of chronological and

2 Frederick Thrasher, The G a n g . (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1927), p. 26. 5 Paul H. Furfey, "Some Factors Influencing the Selection of Boys* Chums," Journal of Applied Psychology. XI (February, 1927), pp. 47-51.

40 mental age was important in the selection of friends*4 Wellman conducted an investigation of companionship among 113 junior high school boys and girls.



and achievement measures were reported for each child, and ’the number of times that pairs of children were seen to­ gether over a five months’ period was assumed as the cri­ terion of companionship.

Girls in this study were more

alike in scholarship than in any other characteristic.


boys were most alike in height, intelligence quotient, and chronological age. In a study reported by the Betroit Teachers’ College, involving 5000 students, ability and achievement seemed to be important characteristics for leaders, and social g qualities were more important for friends. Two investigations by the German sociologists Busemann and Rombach were reported by Murphy and Murphy.



mann secured discoursive answers to questions intended to reveal the children’s conception of themselves.


tions from the replies of 1,000 students indicated that 4 P. 1. Williams, ”A Study of Adolescent Friend­ ships,” Pedagogical Seminary, X2GC (December, 1925), pp. 34246. 5 B. Wellman and Otis W. Caldwell, "Characteristics of School Leaders," Journal of Educational Research, XIV (June, 1926), pp. 1-13. 6 Detroit Teachers’ College, How Children Choose Their Friends, (Detroit: Detroit Teachers’ College, 1929). 7 Murphy and Murphy, o£. cit., pp. 357-58, 419.

41 references to friends and friendship were most frequent be­ tween the ages of thirteen and fourteen years.

Rombaeh ob­

served forty seven-year-olds (boys) just entering school.8 He discovered that the groups formed in the first grade, over a period of one year, were very largely carry-overs from the pre-school year.

After the first six months, none

of the groups existed in their original intimacy.


groups developed through "sympathie," through the attachment of shy boys to aggressive boys, and through participation in informal play groups.

A tendency for "quiet" boys to form

groups of their own was also reported.

Rombaeh failed to

indicate the order of appearance and relative importance of these factors in group formation and development. The slow development of a group or community feeling was also described by Rombaeh.^ Prior to the development of this feeling boys "tattled" on each other, seldom helped one another, and did not claim the success of one member for the group as a whole.

It was only as they had contacts with

other classes and distinguished "our teacher" and "our group" from others that a sense of unity in the group had a chance to develop. Hartshorne and May reported a high degree of simi­ larity between the expressions of behavior of children who 8 Ibid.. p. 357. 9 Loc. cit.

42 regarded one another as friends,-*-® The force of this state­ ment is somewhat lessened, however, by a comparison of the correlations for friends in different classrooms with the correlations for friends in the same room.

In the former

instance the coefficient of correlation for friends and honesty was only +.16, and in the latter instance the cor­ relation was +.73.

The correlation for all the members of

a given room was +.60, so it would appear that the kind of honesty measured was largely a matter of classroom morale. "One does what the crowd does." In his studies of the adolescent, Dimock gave con­ sideration to an analysis of factors in the choice of friends, and the importance of friendship in determining the acceptability and status of group members.^1 Social, economic, psychological, and physical data were examined for one hundred pairs of mutual friends.

From this analysis,

the author concluded that the complex aspects of personality and conduct were crucial determinants of friendships. Similarity in interests, common levels of behavior adjust­ ment, and "the attraction of opposites in certain person­ ality characteristics" were identified as decisive factors 10 Hugh Hartshorne and Mark May, Studies in Deceit, (New York: Columbia University Fress, 1928), pp. 274-?5. Hedley S. Dimock, Rediscovering the Adolescent, (New York: Association Fress, 1937), p. 108.

43 in friendship choices. Using a measurement of status based on preferential choices of friends, Bimock also analyzed some of the factors related to the acceptability of more than six hundred boys IS * in group situations. In ordinary group situations rela­ tively few boys were unanimously popular,

A majority of the

group members enjoyed a moderate degree of popularity or ac­ ceptability.

The acceptability status of fifteen to twenty-

five per cent of the group members was arbitrarily judged as below the minimum needed "for wholesome and satisfying 13 personality.n Dimock's findings also indicated that the acceptabil­ ity of boys in a given group was more closely related to certain behavior items such as co-operation, courtesy, and honesty, than it was to advanced age, skill in activities, 14 or mental brightness. A study of friendship relationships in twenty-seven boys* groups conducted by the present writer indicated that: (1) the larger the group, the fewer the friends an individ­ ual was likely to have in the given group; (2) the group attendance of a member increased with his status, and the number of friends he had in the group; (3) the larger the 12 I b i d .. p. 125. 13 L o o , c i t . 14 Ibi d . , p. 139.

44 group, tli© lower the status or acceptability the individual was likely to have; and (4) the duration of group affilia­ tion of a member increased with the number of friends the individual had in the group and his status in the group. Group studies.


In commenting upon the forty or so

years of investigation in the field of boys’ gangs, Murphy and Murphy conclude that very little has been done to vali­ date and to systematize the methods of research in this im­ portant area of group l i f e . ^ T h r a s h e r ^ and Shaw^® devel­ oped three general principles regarding the gang, however, which have some significance as a background for the current study.

These principles are: (1) that sheer nearness is one

of the most important, if not the chief factor, in making boys gang together; (2) that gangs in general tend almost always to become criminal; and (3) that gangs appear typical­ ly in "interstitial" areas of the city.

Thrasher’s point re­

garding the tendency of gangs to become criminal harmonizes

.I 5 Clifford M. Carey, "A Study of Primary Groups of Boys in Terms of the Degrees of Relationship Between the Status of Members, their Attendance and Length of Member­ ship," (Unpublished Master’s thesis, Northwestern Univer­ sity, Evanston, 1933). Material from this study is re- „ ported by Hedley S. Bimock in Rediscovering the Adolescent, pp. 95ff., and l96ff. 16 Murphy and Murphy, op. cit., p. 401. 17 Thrasher, 0£. cit.» p. 26. IQ Clifford R. Shaw, et a T . , Delinquency A r e a s , (Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1929), p. 203.

45 with S h a w ’s conclusion that the delinquency ra^e is defi­ nitely a function of specific areas of the city. A research project in group work, undertaken by Newstetter at Camp Wawokiye in 1929 and completed in 1938, attempted to study the actual processes of group adjustment 19 by experimenting with groups under control. Group adjust­ ment was determined on the basis of ratings by adults of member adjustment, records of behavior, intra-group judg­ ments of intimacy between members, and individual responses to group life. Newstetter considered that the fundamental elements in group adjustment were: ”the group’s acceptance of the individual, and the individual’s acceptance of the group.”20 Both individual acceptance and group acceptance were viewed as twofold phenomena composed of objective and subjective elements.

The individual’s acceptance of the group involved

his use of the group as a medium of social expression as de­ termined by objective observation.

It also involved the

individual’s use of the group in satisfying his own desires as determined by the individual’s subjective and objective expression.

Wilbur I. Newstetter, Wawokiye C a m p : A Research Project in Group Work and Group Adjustment: A Study i"n Experimental Sociology. (Cleveland: Western Reserve University, 1930 and 1938 respectively). 20 i b i d ., p. 44.

46 One other concept of value in group research was dis­ cussed by Newstetter, namely, ’’personal distance."2^* Two aspects of personal distance were investigated in the Wawokiye study.

They were:

(1) The group’s preferences for a given individual as the stam total of all the preferences given that individual; (2) the individual’s preferences for other members of the group.22 Findings from this investigation indicated that mental and chronological age were factors in acceptability.


gence quotients seemed to be relatively unimportant in similar situations.

The Play Interests and Activity Pref­

erence sections of Furfey’s scale for "Developmental Age" had a higher prognostic value in relation to acceptability than any other parts of the scale.

The emotional stability

of boys as determined by the Woodworth-Matthews inventory had a fair degree of validity in predicting group accept­ ability. Through the evaluation of cultural possessions, Chapin worked out a tentative process for the measurement of 23 sociality and socio-economic status. As a result of this analysis the following tentative conclusions were advanced: 21 Compare with Bogardus* "social distance" concept. 22 Newstetter, op. cit., p. 44. 23 p. Stuart Chapin, "The Measurement of Sociality and Socio-Economic Status," Sociology and Social Research, H I (January-February, 1928), pp. 208-17.

47 (1) the group participation varied with the extent of cultural possessions in the range of middle class families studied; (2) the degree of sociality, as measured by social and cultural possessions and social participation, varied directly with economic status; and (3) sociality, as meas\

ured by group participation, was considered as a native trait, which did not change significantly with further group experience. As a result of his study of leadership in group activity, Chapin concluded that there was a direct correla­ tion between the number of groups to which the average person could belong, and the intensity of participation in OA each group. Participation was indicated by financial support, attendance, and committee membership.


Thrasher’s study of 1,313 gangs in Chicago is the most extensive analysis of ganging in current sociological literature.25 The origin, structure, life, habitat, and con­ trols of a variety of gangs were carefully studied.


of the gangs studied were related to spontaneous play groups, common interests and aptitudes, natural leadership, disap­ proval and opposition from outside the group, acquaintance­ ship, and the social forces of interstitial areas.


F. Stuart Chapin, "Leadership and Group Activity," Z ournal of Applied Sociology. VIII (November-Dee ember, 1924), pp. 140-45. 25 Thrasher, 0£. cit.

commented on this latter point as follows: "Gangs repre­ sent the spontaneous efforts of boys to create a society for themselves where none adequate to their needs ex1sts."26 Data for the analysis of boys* gangs were secured by Thrasher through interviews, and from documents prepared on a life history basis by observers, members, and natural leaders of the gangs studied.

An adaptation of this latter

technique of documentation to provide a social history of a group has been made by the present writer to secure data P7 for this study. Records, developed by group workers, were the bases pQ

of two studies of group behavior reported by Kaiser and 29 Coyle. Both of these reports indicated pertinent content materials for group records, and were used in the prepara­ tion of the outline for developing the social histories of the groups studied in this survey. Thomas, et a l ., made use of observation and careful recording to develop new techniques for studying social

26 I b i d ., p. 37. 2^ See Chapter IV, pp. 62ff., and Appendix A, pp. 264ff. 28 Clara A. Kaiser, Group Records of Four Clubs, (Cleveland: Western Reserve University Press, 1932). 29

Grace L. Coyle, Studies in Group Behavior, (New York: Association Press, 1937T7

49 behavior of young children.


The characteristics of the

behavior of pre-school children follow those of a congeni­ ality group, growing out of the nursery-school play­ time, rather than a gang in the sense of Thrasher*s usage. In this connection, it should be pointed out that Bogardus* study of "Leadership and the Boy" suggested that the terra gang "refers to the normal group that a boy plays with and runs around with.

If the group becomes destructive, it

becomes a predatory gang and [[should^] be so denominated."^II. STUDIES O F GROUP ADJUSTMENT The studies related to group ad justment may be roughly divided into two distinct, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, sections.

The first section includes

those studies related to the influence of the group on in­ dividual attitudes and behavior, and the second section covers those investigations dealing with individual adjust­ ment within groups. Influence of the group.

Studies of the individual

in the group situation deal primarily with competition and 30 Dorothy Swain Thomas. e_t a l . , Some New Techniques for Studying Social Behavior. (New York: Bureau of Publfcations, Teachers* College, Columbia University, 1929). Emory S. Bogardus, "Leadership and the Boy," Journal of Applied Sociology, X (July-August, 1926), p." 576.


Murphy and Murphy reported several studies in

this area; three of which have been selected as illustrative 32 of the conclusions reached# Greenberg concluded, after a study of competition in children, that until the child had mastered the material so that he could work with it, the desire to excel in its use 33 did not develop. The child may be very competitive in a familiar situation where he is master of the tools, and show little or no competitiveness in an unfamiliar situation. Moede found that the threshold for ^intolerable” pain was higher when a group of onlookers was present, and was highest of all when competition between two subjects was conducted.


Mayer reported that spontaneous rivalry developed among boys in group situations, causing them to increase in speed and quality in mental work as compared with similar work done in isolation.


In commenting on other studies of the effect of the group on behavior, Murphy and Murphy concluded that the de­ sire to excel was rooted in vanity, or the desire to stand well, or in ulterior motives connected with tangible gain. 32 33 34 35 36

Murphy rbid., I b i d ., Ibid., Ibid.,

and Murphy, op. cit., pp. 445ff. p. 450, summarizing Greenberg. p. 451, summarizing Moede. p. 458, summarizing Mayer. pp. 465-66.


51 The studies emphasized the desire to excel, not simply the desire to do well.

Some of the studies even raised the

question whether the desire to do well could be separated from the desire to excel.

There was evidence of a social

factor even in the most individualistic pursuit of a standard of excellence. The social factor was most apparent in the materials related to studies of contagious (imitative) behavior and the problem of group thinking.

In the case of group think­

ing, the studies indicated that group performance was better than the average individual performance, and that the groups 37 displayed greater speed in solutions, The data reported in this section, however, were limited and inadequate. Individual adjustment in groups.

A series of studies

dealing with the influence of the social situation on child 38 behavior was reported by Murchison. While the studies dealt largely with children from birth to school age, the following conclusions seemed to have implications for group work.

(1) The characteristics of situations and of children

themselves determine their responses in social situations. (2) The child has no recourse but to respond to situations 57 i b i d ., pp. 468-71. 5B Carl Murchison, editor, Handbook of Social Psychology, (Worcester: Clark University Press” 1935), pp. 1034ff•

52 as wholes, and not necessarily to the particular stimuli the experimenter wishes to emphasize.

(3) Children as growing

organisms may change rapidly in needs and interests, and may select in a rapidly changing way from a constant environ­ ment.


Even without changes in the child, different

overt responses may arise as expressions of the same under­ lying motive.


Inconsistent behavior from the stand­

point of an adult concept, may be for the child but an alternative expression toward the same ultimate purpose. (6) Behavior traits exist only in the relationship between the child and his environment. child.

They are not located in the

(7) The author urges "less emphasis upon isolated

stimuli and responses and more upon functionally signifi­ cant whole situations and upon the dynamics of the whole organism.

These conclusions will need to be confirmed

for children of school age. M ore n o 1s studies of the problems of human inter­ relations demonstrated methods of analyzing group formation and behavior of special significance in relation to the problems under consideration in this report.


Four methods

were used to study the formation of home, work, and school groups.

Studies of group formation involved the use of

observational and interpretive efforts, participant ~

59 I b i d .. p. 1093. 40 j. l . Moreno, Who Shall Survive? , (Washington: The Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing C o . , 1934).

53 observation, and the experimental analysis of subject choices, where the subjects were themselves the authors of prospective groups.

This latter method follows closely the

one used by Newstetter in his studies of group adjustment*


Sociometric tests provided Moreno with a basis for analyzing group experience from a variety of American and 42 European sources. In the main, the groups studied were located in institutional environments.

The study was di­

rected toward the development of information concerning the important factors in the construction and reconstruction of groups.

Such information was used as the basis for a pro­

gram of group assignment for purposes of institutional therapy. A scheme for diagramming the attractions and repul­ sions within specific groups was also developed by Moreno. The interrelations in groups were analyzed in terms of isolated individuals, acceptable pairs, mutual rejections, incompatible pairs, centers of acceptance, and centers of rejection.

Groups were classified on the basis of struc­

tural patterns, resulting from the diagrams of inter­ relations.

The assignment of newcomers to institutional

groups was based on a summarization of information from 41 Newstetter, o p . cit. 42 Moreno described a sociometric test as wan in­ strument to measure the amount of organization shown by social groups.n 0£. cit., p. 10.

54 individual social histories, diagrams of group structures, and the psychological currents of existing groups. According to Moreno, the sociometric tests revealed: (1) the position of each individual in the groups in which he had a function; (2) that the underlying psychological structure of a group differed widely from its social mani­ festations; (3) that the group structures varied directly in relation to the age level of the members;

(4) that different

criteria produced different groupings of the same subjects in some instances, and the same groupings in other instanc­ es ; (5) that groups with diverse functions exhibited diverse structures; (6) that the subjects grouped themselves differ­ ently whenever they could; (7) that spontaneous groups, and the functions which individuals performed or intended to perform in them, had definite bearing on the conduct of each individual, and upon the group as a whole; (8) that groups superimposed on spontaneous groupings were potential sources of conflict; (9) that chosen relations and actual relations in groups often differed, and that the position of an indi­ vidual could not be fully realized unless all individuals and groups to which he belonged were studied; and (10) that the organization of a social group could not be studied ful43 ly unless all related groups and individuals were included.

43 Ibi d . , pp. ldff.

Measures of leader-group adjustment were developed by Bogardus and Ellsworth through the use of questionnaires de­ signed to chart the social distance between leaders i 44 (advisers) and groups. Measures were developed for "social nearness” and "social farness.”

In addition to suggesting a

profitable method for analyzing the leader-follower adjust­ ment, the authors concluded that successful leader-follower adjustment was characterized by low averages of "social farness.” Various aspects of the influence of occupational, home, school, classroom, neighborhood and club groups in re­ lation to individual adjustment have been reported in studAR Aft A7 48 ies by Lewin, DuVall, Thompson, and Patrick. Sub­ jects included in studies by these investigators ranged from pre-school children to upper division college men.


44 Emory S. Bogardus and Allen Ellsworth, "Measure­ ment in Group Work," Sociology and Social Research, XXLII (September-October, 1938), pp. 6E-70. 45 Kurt Lewin, "Experiments in Social Space,” Harvard Educational Review, IX (January, 1939), pp. 21-32. 46 Everett W. DuVall, Relative Influence of Primary Groups on Underprivileged Children, (Los Angeles: Univer­ sity of Southern California Press, 1938). 47 Esther M. Thompson, "Classification and Correla­ tion of Certain Traits of Boys in Clubs at All Nations B o y s ’ Club," (Unpublished M a s t e r ’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1938). James G. Patrick, "The Role of Intimate Groups in the Personality Development of Selected College Men," (Unpublished Doctor’s dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1933).

56 methods encompassed guided observation, questionnaires, tests, and social histories for groups and individuals*


conclusions reached represent, for the most part, extensions of findings reported in the surveys previously discussed. III. SOCIAL PROCESS STUDIES In studying social process in certain organized groups, Coyle analyzed some of the universal aspects of the social process revealed in the experiences of lodges, fra­ ternities, labor unions, political clubs, and religious groups.


Samples of these types of groups were selected

for study on the basis of their programs and organizational forms.

Study materials were developed from records of ob­

servations and written sources.

The findings were organized

to illustrate processes, functions, and conditions sur­ rounding various aspects of organized group life.


processes by which the groups operated were described as: (1) the process of social evaluation;

(2) the process of

group formation; (3) the process of member selection; (4) the process of communication; and (5) the process of collective thinking.

Additional categories developed in the

study were: group structure, esprit de corps, group leader­ ship, and group functions. 49 G-race l. Coyle, Social Process in Organized Groupst (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1930).

57 In so far as this study is concerned, Coyle’s proc­ esses have been classified as group processes.

Her Social

Frocess in Organized Groups advanced methods and categories useful in developing the methods used in the current in. vestigation.

Whereas Coyle’s study dealt with universal

aspects of social process in large, institutionalized groups, making no claims of affiliation with group work, the present study has directed attention to an analysis of proc­ esses in small groups related to group work agencies.


methods and categories developed by Coyle have been applied to a particularized area of group experience, namely, group work. In a descriptive report, based on club records and direct observation, Ellsworth identified certain processes 50 in organized young m e n ’s groups in the Los Angeles YMCA. The processes identified and traced through the records of several groups were: socialization; group formation; devel­ oping group objectives; acknowledging a n d .projecting leader­ ship; developing esprit de corps; group control; group thinking; and social action.

50 Allen S. Ellsworth, "An Analysis of Social Processes in Selected Young M e n ’s Groups in the Los Angeles YMCA," (Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1939).

58 Summary,

The reported studies of group dynamics

pointed to the importance of friendship, communities of in­ terest, and proximity (sheer nearness) in the formation of groups among adolescents and pre-school children.


similarities in behavior, socio-economic backgrounds, and interests were reported as significant in the selection of friends. The investigations of group adjustment and the influ­ ence of the group upon individuals suggested that the levels of physical and mental efforts were higher in group situa­ tions than the average performance for the same individuals working alone,

G-roup adjustment was most frequently re­

ported in the selected studies in terms of acceptance (social distance), member role, and member status.

The im­

portance of group membership in the development of attitudes and behavior was indicated in several studies, notably those pr-i


by Hartshorne and May x and Newstetter. Extensions of the reported studies seemed desirable in the following directions: (1) the inclusion of data from group members beyond the pre-school and adolescent age; (£) a further examination of "community of interest" and "proximity" as factors in the formation of friendships and groups; (3) the identification of factors which determine

51 Hartshorne and May, 0£. cit. 52 Newstetter, 0£. cit.

59 the selection of particular friends within a given radius of proximity; and (4) the further examination of influences and sequences in the process of group formation. The studies were useful in the current investigation in providing categories and methods for the analysis of group experience.

Newstetter*s discussions of intra-group

judgments of the intimacy of group members provided the basis for the development of the Friendship Record*


This de­

vice was used to develop measures of group cohesiveness and the status of group members.

Thrasher’s procedures for se­

curing data on gangs from observations, documents, and inter­ views were suggestive in the preparation of the "Outline for the Preparation of a Social History of a Group.

This out­

line was used as a device for securing data in the present study.

Moreno’s diagrams of interrelations in groups led to

the development of schematic diagrams of friendship choices. An analysis of such diagrams was used in the examination of 55 leadership projection in Chapter YI of this report. The integration of certain of these categories and procedures in terms of a social history technique for in­ vestigating group experience is presented in the following chapter. 53 See discussion of Friendship Record, pp. 74ff. 54 Complete outline in Appendix A, pp. 264ff. 55 See Figures 3 to 7, pp. 116-120.


As was suggested in

the preceding chapter, there are a number of methods for se­ curing data on group experience, e.g., controlled observa­ tion, examination of records, participant observation, tests and questionnaires, and the development of social histories of individuals and of groups. Bogardus has described the social life history of an individual as the narrative account of adjustments, experi­ ences, reactions, and interpretations of social situations in which the person has carried a role.'*" Burgess concluded that the life history of an in­ dividual provided data for: (1) the analysis of the process by which group members come to self consciousness and obtain a conception of role; (2) the study of the mutations of at­ titudes, loosening and tightening of group bonds, and the living, changing group inter-relationships; and (3) the description of processes of group and individual adjustment 2 and the role of incompleted acts and projects. Group social 1 Emory S. Bogardus, ”Tools in Sociology,” Sociology and Social Research, XLT (March-April, 1930). 2 Ernest W. Burgess, ”The Family and the Person,” Publication of the American Sociological Society, XXII (December, “X927TT"

61 histories, incorporating comparable information at the group level, were used to secure data for this study. The social history technique involved the development of descriptive* narrative, historical, accounts of group ex­ periences from group records and the interpretations of group members, and their subsequent analysis in terms of a group by group examination.

The procedures followed in de­

veloping group social histories have been described in suc­ ceeding paragraphs of this chapter.

The methods of analyzing

the historical materials have been considered in Chapter V. The selection of the social history technique was based on two considerations having direct relation to the problems under examination.

In the first place, it appeared

necessary to reconstruct, in some fashion, the various as­ pects of experience in the origin and development of the groups studied.

The limitations of existing records made it

necessary to reorganize information about important group events, programs, personnel, and relationships.

Records, of

any description, were available in relatively few groups. Where records existed, they were in no sense uniform as to coverage, methods of recording, nor continuity. In the second place, even in groups where fairly adequate and continuous records were available, it seemed

3 See Table, XX, p. 206

63 advisable to explore some of the subjective aspects of the group experiences.

Feelings, motives, opinions, and values

of group members, advisers, and supervisors were necessary in any attempts to examine group experience.

The recon­

struction of group experience in these terms seemed possible only under a plan that provided wide latitude for register­ ing individual and collective reactions.

The social

history technique seemed to offer such a method. I. THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF A GROUP In the preparation of the group social history out­ line,4 the writer drew suggestions from materials previously described by Bogardus

and Sanderson.

In the revised edi­

tion of Introduction to Social Research, Bogardus sketched the contents of a group history in outline form.

The out­

line included questions concerning group experience in these areas: ecology; personnel; origins; organization; activities 7 and conflicts; and philosophy. Sanderson’s approach to the study of the nature of the group included an outline for group description.

Listed in the outline were various

4 See outline in Appendix A, pp. 264ff. 5 Fmory S. Bogardus, Introduction to Social Re­ search, (Los Angeles: Suttonhouse, 1936), p p . 1 '/’I f f . 6 Dwight Sanderson, "Group Description," Social Forces, XVI (March, 1938), pp. 309-319. 7 Bogardus, o£. cit.. p. 178.

63 questions designed to reveal details about a group’s identi­ ty, its composition, the nature of the inter-group relation­ ships, the nature of the intra-group relationships, and the development of the group’s structure and mechanisms.’ As a preliminary guide in the collection of data a schedule of questions related to group experience was pre­ pared.

The schedule was designed as a guide for the devel­

opment of group histories by group supervisors and advisers. The questions were organized around group origins, group organization, community relationships, group personnel and leadership, group controls, and group activities and functions.

The contents of the schedule are briefed in the

following paragraphs. Group origins.

Group origins were examined in terms

of the nature of the group’s formation, reasons for its organization, the group founders, and their previous asso­ ciations.

Attention was also directed to the continuity

of the group’s experience, the outstanding dates and events in the memory of group members, and the important crises in the course of the group’s development. Group organization.

The nature of group organization

was analyzed in terms of the various stages in group

8 Sanderson, op. cit., p. 313.

64 development, the relationships to general movements or agencies, and the organizational forms (officers, constitu­ tions, and committees) revealed.

Consideration was aiso

given to such aspects of group organization as: gradations in status and authority of group members; group codes, laws, or standards; and the relationships to other groups in boards and councils. Group personnel.

The personnel practices of groups

were studied in terms of their membership requirements, en­ listment practices, persistence of affiliation, methods of expulsion, and the geographical distribution of membersf residences.

Group size, modifications in number of members,

duplication of membership with other groups, and the nature of membership contacts were also examined. Group leadership.

The examination of the leadership

factor in groups included data on group advisers, super­ visors, and indigenous group leaders.

Attention was

directed to the skills and interests of leaders and of advisers, their training and supervision, and their methods of control over policies and programs.

Instances of

peculiar, unusual and significant leadership roles were sought in interviews and group observations.

Questions were

also raised concerning the nature of conflicts between

65 cliques and factions. Group controls.

The use of symbols, rituals, songs,

taboos, and sentiments were eovered by questions included in the outline.

Common interests, cultural backgrounds,

group achievements, objectives and standards were also covered by appropriate questions.

The effects on group

members of such controls as rules, expulsions, and punish­ ment were examined.

Cases illustrating informal methods

of control through approval and disapproval, including such possibilities as the use of ridicule, sarcasm, gesture, and criticism were secufed.

Some attention was also given to

the use of awards and rewards.

Included in the analysis of

controls were descriptions of the effects of group controls in specific instances of difficulty, conflict of crisis. Interviews with group members, and observations of groups in action, supplied the materials related to the effects of group controls. Community relations.

The.section of the outline on

community relations sought data on the role, status, and reputation of the group in the community.

Group contribu­

tions and influences in community life were also examined, and instances of cooperative activities with other similar groups were listed.

Relations with the sponsoring agency or

66 institution were also examined Activities and functions.

At this point the history

schedule suggested questions related to the group's program and activities, methods of program determination, and the special skills of members.

The relations between objectives

(both group and sponsoring agency) and the group's program, the special equipment available for group use, and the per­ sistence of original functions were analyzed. With the development of a schedule for collecting data on group experience, consideration was directed to methods for securing historical information from the selected groups. II.


In developing the social histories of the groups in­ cluded in this study, the writer used the following proce­ dures: (1) an agency interview to locate groups and secure permission for their inclusion in the study; (2) a prelimi­ nary social history interview, with the advisers of the selected groups, to secure their cooperation in providing the data requested and to explain the social history out­ line; (3) a follow-up,interview with the narrator of the preliminary social history (usually the adviser) to secure additions to and elaborations of statements made in the

67 preliminary narrative;

(4) an interview with the group

supervisor to secure additional data and interpretations of the materials furnished by the group adviser; (5) a group interview, with three or four group members, to secure their reaction to the group’s history;

(6} a review

of the group’s records; and (7) an integration of all data for each group into a completed social history.

These pro­

cedures are explained in detail in the following sections. Agency interview.

Interviews with agency representa­

tives were directed to explaining the purposes of the study, and to securing suggestions about the groups available for study.

Groups typical of the agency’s program and age range

were requested.

No other criteria were provided for the

selection of groups, and the final decisions as to groups available for study were made by agency representatives. Subsequent analysis of the materials seemed to indicate that the selection of groups was based on such considerations as: the adequacy of available records; the probable skill of the group adviser in using the social history outline; and the accessibility of the group. In the agency interview, permission was secured to review and make use of the available group r e c o r d s . ^ 9 See descriptions of basis of selection on p. 71. 10 a sample of the form used to record the agency interview appears in Appendix D, p. £74.

68 At the conclusion of the interview, arrangements were made for the writer to contact the advisers of the selected groups to secure narrative records of their respective groups.

In those instances where advisers were newly re­

lated to groups, lacked writing ability, or lacked under­ standing of the social history outline, the supervisors were asked to write the social history narratives.

In a few in­

stances, groups were selected in which both the advisory and supervisory functions were carried by the same persons. As a condition of agency cooperation, the writer agreed with their representatives that no qualitative enu­ meration of data would appear on an agency basis.

No list­

ings of groups by agencies have therefore been made.


names of individuals and groups appearing in the report were changed to conceal the identities of the cooperating groups and agencies. Freliminary-sooial-history-interview.

The prelimi­

nary interview, introducing the outline to be used for the study of the group, had two main purposes.

(1) The nature

and objectives of the study were explained as a basis for securing the cooperation of the adviser in the development of data.

(2) In the event that willingness to participate

in the study was evidenced, the study outline was carefully explained.

The questions were reviewed, and samples of the

69 types of information called for in each, section were indi­ cated,

Both individual and group discussion methods were

used at this stage in the development of the data. In all cases it was suggested that the questions be used merely as a guide, and that the historical account be written in narrative form.

Most of the participants fol­

lowed this suggestion. At the conclusion of the interview, samples of the group’s records were requested.

Where groups possessed

minutes, scrapbooks, or adviser’s diaries, access to these .materials was s e c u r e d . ^ Follow-up interview with the narrator.

In prepara­

tion for the follow-up interview with the group adviser, the preliminary report of the social history was read in its entirety.

Notes were recorded concerning unanswered ques­

tions indicated in the outline.

Sections requiring further

elaboration were checked, and gaps in the total group history were summarized.

The objectives of the follow-up

interview were three in number: (1) to confirm the complete­ ness of the preliminary information, and to secure such addi­ tional material as might have been overlooked by the narra­ tor; (2) to secure elaboration of the parts of the record

-*-1 The extent to which such materials were available is reported on pp. 87, and 206.

70 which, seemed to have implications for the study of social process in group work; and (3) to make a personal judgment concerning the narrator’s ability to create a group history. Despite attempts to select groups for study with an adviser, or supervisor, possessing a fair degree of skill in preparing a social history, practically all of the prelimi­ nary reports contained incompleted sections.

In some cases

these sections apparently were not considered as important by the narrator.

In other instances, a series of seemingly

related experiences was interrupted without comment or ex­ planation. Gringos,


For example, in the report of the Washington the narrator described a series of attempts to

bring about an adjustment between KP and other members of his group.

Following one meeting, in which his behavior

apparently precipitated a crisis, K ’s name no longer ap­ peared in the record.

It was accordingly necessary to se­

cure from the narrator further information concerning the methods by which K was transferred or dropped from the group, and the final disposition of his ease so far as the agency was concerned.

Items similar to this one appeared

12 Document number 58. Data of this type were checked in interviews with advisers, supervisors and other agency workers. They were not discussed with group members directly. In this instance the adviser’s diary contained numberous comments on the reactions of other members to KP. The names of all persons and groups appearing in excerpts from social histories are fictitious.

71 with some frequency in the preliminary social histories, and could be completed only through additional information from the narrator* Interview with the group supervisor.

Following the

second interview with the narrator, usually the group ad­ viser, the revised social history was reviewed with the supervisor of the group*

This interview involved essen­

tially the same objectives and procedures as were used in the interviews with group advisers*

Statements were vali­

dated, gaps in the group’s history were checked, explana­ tions and elaborations of situations were secured, and the judgments of the supervisor were added to the social his­ tory.

In those instances where the supervisor was also the

group’s adviser, this step in the preparation of the social history was omitted.


Group interview.

The purpose of the group interview

was to secure member reactions to and interpretations of significant group experiences. purposely informal.

The procedures involved were

The three or four members with the most

frequent and continuous association with the group were brought together following a meeting; or in the adviser’s or supervisor’s home; or for a luncheon; or other similar 13 Note: In seven groups the adviser and supervisor were the same person.

7£ occasion.

In the younger groups the advisers and super­

visors took considerable initiative in arranging the group interviews.

Members of older groups frequently arranged the

setting for their own group interview. Where group records were available, they were used by this writer to initiate reminiscent comments from the selected group members.

In other instances the supervisors

or advisers set the stage for such conversations by recount­ ing a familiar group incident.

From these beginnings, the

group members usually discussed freely their shared ex­ periences.

Their comments about significant persons and

events, the group’s origins and organization, and various controls and relationships were recorded for inelusion in the social history. Those selected for the group interviews, were usually active members with some continuity of group association. In some of the older groups, former members participated in the interview, and provided information on sections of the group history not directly experienced by the active memb e r s . Group records.

The final procedure in the develop­

ment of the social histories involved the examination of such records and documents as were available for each group.

Minutes of meetings, scrapbooks, constitutions and

73 "by-laws, advisersT diaries, program schedules, attendance records, and supervisory records were reviewed.

Data from

these sources were incorporated in the appropriate sections of the group histories. At least two observations of the regular sessions and activities of each group were made during the course of the study.

One such observation of each group was made by this


Similar observations were made and reported by the

supervisors of

the participating g r o u p s . ^

In general, the available

documents and records were

limited in content, and were based on a variety of reporting procedures.

The social history outline was designed to in­

corporate data

from such sources as were available*

Materials from

records were used to supplement

and toverify

the responses of advisers, supervisors, and group members to the social history outline. Integration of social history data.

In developing

analyses of the social histories, attention was given to an integration of the information from advisers, supervisors, selected members, and existing records.

In some instances

the histories were rewritten to incorporate information omitted by the narrator.


In other cases, the' supplementary

See Group Observation Record, Appendix F, p. 304.

74 data were added in the form of marginal notes.

Bach com­

pleted group history covered from eighteen to fifty typed pages. Ill •'ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF DATA Friendship records.

Additional data were secured

from the selected groups through the use of a Friendship 15 Record. Members of all the groups were requested (by ad­ visers and supervisors) to record a list of their ,ften best friends,” and to rank, in order of "first best friend,” "second best friend,” etc., all the friends listed.


following instructions for administering and scoring the blanks were used to secure uniformity in the presentation of the device to the several groups. Admini st rat ion of Friendship Records.

In securing

friendship data from each group, the purpose of the record was introduced by some person closely related to each group.

It was explained that a study of friendships was

being made, and that the cooperation of members of the groups had been requested.

After suggesting the desirabil­

ity of working individually on the Friendship Records, and guaranteeing that the information would be treated confi-

15 See sample Friendship Record, Appendix B, p. 272.

75 dentially, the blanks were distributed.

Group members were

asked to write, in the proper columns, the names, addresses, and ages of their best friends, "buddies,* or "pals;" the group affiliation of each friend; the activities they shared most frequently; and the frequency of such con­ tacts.

Wtien this information was recorded, the group mem­

bers were asked to go over the list of friends named and number each friend in order of preference, placing a figure ’one* in front of the best friend, a figure ’t w o T in front of the next best friend, and so on for all the friends named. In securing the friendship data from each group, the following items were stressed: Cl) that the Friend­ ship Records should be filled out without conversation with other group members or reference to their Friendship Records; (E) that the list of friends should include best friends, "buddies," or "pals," irrespective of the letter’s group connections;, and (3) that the ranking of friends should be in terms of the preferences felt at the time the blank was filled out. Scoring the Friendship Record.

The list of friends

named by an individual was compared with the membership roll of the individual’s group.

If any of the friends

named appeared on the group roster, a score, determined

inversely from the preference ranking given that friend was recorded.

The following table gives the score

values for each of the preference rankings from ’one* to 1t e n . ' TABLE I SCOBS VALUES OF VARIOUS PREFERENCE RANKINGS Preference Rank of Friends Score Value

1 s









10 9









The score values illustrated above served as a basis for determining individual Acceptability and Friend ship Scores.


The Friendship Score, which represented

the extent to which the friends chosen by an individual were members of the individual’s own group, was computed by adding the score values corresponding to the ranking the individual assigned to the friends he selected within the given group.

A sample score, based on the presence

of the first, second, fourth, sixth, and eighth best friends in an individual's own group would be thirty-four 16 The Friendship Record and the accompanying pro­ cedures for administration and scoring were developed jointly by Hedley S. Dimock and this writer, and were re­ ported by the latter in "Some Implications of Friendship in Group Administration and Supervision," Association B o y s ' Work Journal, VI (October, 1933), pp~ 7-10.

Computation of this score is illustrated in the figure be­ low. FIGURE 1 SAMPLE COIIPUTATION OF A FRIENDSHIP SCORE 1 Friend­ Preference Rani 9 10 2 8 3 7 4 5 6 : i ship of Friends 1 Score 1 Score Values 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 Jane B.

| X






The Friendship Score of 34 for Jane B represented a numerical value determined by her choice of best friends in her own group. Computation of the Acceptability Score involved the addition of all the score values assigned to an individual by all the other members of his or her group.

For example,

Jane B was selected by seven other members of her group as a ’b est’ friend.

Two members chose her as their ’first*

best friend, one as ’fourth* best, three as ’sixth’ best, and one as ’t e nth’ best.

Her Acceptability Score was the

sum of the score values for these seven choices, or fortythree.

In Figure 2, which illustrates this computation,

the figure in the upper left corner of each square repre­ sents the friendship preference assigned to Jane B by the girl whose name appears along the same horizontal line. The corresponding score value for this rank appears in the

lower right corner o f ,the square, and the Acceptability Score resulting from the addition of these scores appears at the bottom of the vertical column. FIGURE 2



36-49, discusses the inclusion of the group in therapy plans.

194 In the social history materials of the fifty-one selected groups, it was possible to identify fifty-three instances where correctional and adjustive plans for in­ dividuals were recorded in sufficient detail to suggest the practice of group work therapy.

The characteristics of the

treatment process described above provided the criteria for the identification of therapy in the several groups. In twenty-one groups no instances of group work therapy were reported; in one group six instances were identified; in another group fifteen instances were re­ ported; and in the remaining twenty-eight groups a total of forty-two members were reported in therapy relationships. The fifty-three reported instances of group work therapy in­ volved approximately three per cent of the total member en­ rollment of the groups studied.

From the social history

records, it appeared that eight of the members receiving group work therapy were referrals from other agencies.


the remainder, forty-three members apparently came to the attention of group advisers and supervisors in the course of regular agency and group activity. A n examination of data for the fifty-three identified instances of group work therapy revealed certain conditions which suggested therapeutic limits in these and similar groups.

Illustrations of these conditions are included in

195 the following sections. Group cohesiveness as a oond it ion of therapy.


cohesiveness, as indicated by friendship measures, appeared as a necessary condition, as well as a limiting factor, in the placement of individuals requiring adjustive treatment. Groups, with highly developed Gohesive relationships, in some instances resisted attempts to introduce individuals selected for therapy efforts.

The practice of the Shooting

Stars in "freezing out" an individual related to the group for therapy purposes by the agency has already been illus­ trated.51 This group, with an Index of Friendship of .582, had developed the practice of selecting its own members, and "resented the attempts of an agency worker to introduce JB."

To provide IB with a directed group experience, it

was necessary "to recruit a neighborhood group of I B ’s friends at some distance from the agency."52 Similar difficulties in placing individuals in al­ ready organized groups were suggested in thirty-eight of the fifty-three reported instances of group work therapy. In the cohesive groups, lines of interaction and established relationships made it difficult for "placed in­ dividuals" to achieve acceptance and status.


Of. "ante., p. 125. 52 Supervisor’s interview, reported in document 27.

196 appeared most likely to lead to group acceptance when the individual, requiring treatment, was introduced and spon­ sored in the group by a friend who had established ac­ ceptance in the group. DD lacked satisfactory group connections, and sought to attach herself to all [agency! groups. Overaggressive behavior seemed to make her unacceptable. The supervisor introduced DD to our club through a friend who was already a member. At first DD came to meetings only when her chum came Jd d had no other re­ ported friends at the time of entering the club]. Since her chum has left town, DD has attended every meeting and is taking an increasingly important part in club affairs. While the girls pay little attention to her, and she is not entirely accepted by the group, her status has improved materially. Her ability to "get along" with the other girls has developed.33 The fact that DD was "sponsored" by a member of the group seemed to be an important factor in her participation in group activities and partial acceptance by club members. Despite the apparent difficulty in placing in­ dividuals in highly cohesive groups, group workers empha5 4

sized the use of cohesive groups in therapy plans.



median Index of Friendship of .551 in the thirty groups re­ porting instances of group work therapy suggested a rela­ tively high level of cohesiveness in these groups.


median Index of Friendship for all of the groups studied was .456.

Twenty-six per cent of all the groups examined

fell below an Index of Friendship of .350; only seven


Adviser’s narrative in document number 52. an1:e *» P* 126.

197 per cent of the groups used for therapy purposes reported indices below .350.

Fourteen per cent of the total number

of groups studied had indices in excess of .650; and twenty-seven per cent of the therapy groups had indices in excess of .650.

Groups used for therapy purposes seemed to

be the most cohesive of the groups included in the survey. Influence of "group attitudes" on therapy.


attitudes" toward the inclusion of individuals were factors in determining the probable success of therapeutic efforts. Limiting attitudes expressed by groups toward individuals placed in their membership for therapy purposes included: (1) an attitude of "reform" based on a "better than thou" point of view; (£) an attitude of curiosity derived from a knowledge of the causes for placement; and (3) an attitude of "partial acceptance" based on a desire to use the in­ dividual’s skill, or to maintain satisfactory agency re­ lationships.

The following excerpts from group histories

indicate the importance of the attitudes of group members in therapy situations. Group attitudes of "reform" toward individuals need­ ing group therapy were limiting factors in the potential success of therapeutic efforts. p came into the group when she moved into the neighborhood and became acquainted with B , who brought her to club. But P had different standards

198 than the other girls and did not fit. Her dress and ideals were sophisticated. She was constantly on the edge of acceptable behavior in her relations with boys. She did not particularly admire the other girls, and was not too happy in their company. The other girls did not accept P with any ease. [”ln P *s absence, the adviser conferred with members of the group and emphasized her need for group contacts in the new neighborhood] . The members thought they might help her, so were willing to take her into the group on a ’’reform” basis. But P felt she did not need re­ forming, and promptly left the group. The adviser entreated the girls to apply their Christian principles to the situation . . • and told P that the girls had reconsidered. But P ---- did not come back.$5 The adviser noted P ---- ’s behavior, and encouraged her acceptance by the group as a "stabilizing influence.” Apparently the group sought to change "her sophisticated ways."

Members displayed little tolerance for P

behavior and dress. passed unheeded. P


The adviser’s plea for understanding

The absence of a tolerant attitude toward

, following her initial acceptance by the. group, sug­

gested that the group’s attempt "to help" was a reflection of a better than thou point of view.

Similar attitudes,

noted in three, other groups, seemed to limit the potential outcomes from therapy plans. The novelty of dealing with persons who had engaged in behavior outside their own experience, intrigued three groups into tentative acceptances of individuals needing group work therapy.

Attitudes of interest and curiosity

55 Adviser’s narrative, document number 1.

199 derived from superficial knowledge of the causes of place­ ment, and the attractiveness of novel behavior, appeared as insecure bases for therapy placement. When V [^eighteen years of age] came into the group, all other problems became secondary. . . The parole officer told her she had to go to some Ghurch and take her two-year-old child with her. \ . The problem arose . . . should the girls [one year her junior] take V in and try to help her? The girls themselves were anxious to take her in . . . and V --was quite willing that they should try, even a little amused. The novelty of the situation fascinated the girls, and V was included in the club. . . But the novelty disappeared, and V was no longer amused by the girls’ fascination, and sought other group con­ nections under the direction of the parole officer. b Aside from the fact that there may have been other undesirable aspects to T

*s placement in t h e


it appeared that the girls were primarily attracted to her by-the novelty of her own unusual situation.

The adviser

and members reported that the novelty of the situation vanished quickly in the "give and take" of the group rela­ tionship.


and resentment.

’s amusement gave way to expressions of pride The mem b e r s ’ fascination changed to dis­

tress and confusion.

A change of group affiliation was

necessary to continue the therapy plan, for the group’s attitudes of curiosity did not provide V — - with the security needed for adjustive and correctional efforts. 56

Adviser’s narrative and description of group members in document number 1.

200 Ulterior motives, exhibited by group members for the partial or conditional acceptance and toleration of in­ dividuals, limited the potential outcomes of related group therapy plans. The case of JB, a member of the Shooting Stars, who wa-s acceptable to the group only in basketball relation­ ships has already been noted.57 The group used J B ’s skills, and admitted him to the basketball team, but did not include him in other group activities and relationships.

J B ’s

treatment program, according to the group adviser and super­ visor,

called for "the development of status built on a

sense of acceptance and belonging."

The supervisor of the

group reported that I B ’s need for security was complicated rather than adjusted by his conditional acceptance by the group.58 Similar instances were reported in the histories of eight other groups included in the study.


In the historical account of one of the girls* groups, the adviser reported that an individual’s need for an "integrating group experience" was unmet because of the group m e m b e r s ’ acceptance of the individual in the role of "club gossip."


The girl involved in this situation "flitted

Of. ante., p. 125.

58 interview with supervisor in document number 27. 5^ Documents number 14, 27, 35, 44, 45, 47, 53,

and 56.

201 about from interest to interest, and from group to group,” and exhibited the ”unhappy faculty of creating a disturbance wherever she went.”

Group therapy was planned by the

supervisor and adviser of the

Club to counteract these

transient and divisive contacts. I*came to meetings with fair regularity. . . She had many outside activities and interests . . . especially football players. Her one subject of conversation was boys. . . She always knew the latest gossip, and the girls tolerated her for that reason

alone.*^ X,— - continued in the group for nearly two years. The adviser and supervisor reported that ”there was little evidence that I*

*s behavior changed for the better during

her association w ith the ---- Club.

On the basis of the

evidence presented in the club's historical record, it ap­ peared that the role assigned I*

actually contributed to

her ”flitting from group to group.”

Such behavior provided

her with the gossip necessary to maintain her status in the Club. Influence of group activities on therapy.


tunities to appear in favorable roles were essential to the development of group acceptance of individuals needing group work therapy.

The absence of such opportunities, in groups

with limited activity interests, restricted their usefulness

60 Interview with supervisor in document number 50.

202 for therapy purposes.

The following illustrations were in­

dicative of the influence of group activities on therapy efforts . JH dropped out of the group. She was not interested in the program of ranks and honors. She had reached the age where she demanded more of a social type of program. She stated, ’The club i s n ’t any fun, for there never are any boys at the parties.’61 ST has no athletic skills. He shows real interest in the group, but makes no real contribution. He depends on TS [another member of the group”] , who was elected president this year. ST is his satellite . . . and tags him around to share in his popularity. ST should be given an opportunity to show his interest and talent in nature study. . . But this group is only interested in basketball, track, baseball, and football. ST has no part in these activities.62 RJ is rather quiet. He is not as active in sports as the ordinary boy, and does not mix quite as readily. He is unable to join in with the others and have a good time. . . He never goes on any of the club hikes. . . All the other members enjoy basketball and other games . . . but not RJ. One day he said, ’I ’m going to quit the club. I d o n ’t like the other fellows, and there are too many in the club.’ The adviser attempted to talk RJ into play­ ing basketball with the other members, and having some fun. Realizing that talking was not effective, the ad­ viser turned R J ’s attention to model airplanes. He seemed interested and finished the plane during the week . . . with apparent satisfaction. But the follow­ ing week . . . RJ came with his mother, who said that [RJ] ’wanted to quit, since none of the other members were interested in craft w o r k ; ’63 61 Supervisor’s narrative and interview in document number 34. 62 A dviser’s description of group members in document number 21. a or

Adviser’s narrative in document number 20.

203 The three individuals referred to in the above illus­ trations were designated for group therapy efforts.


did not possess the interests of the groups to which they were related.

The absence of these interests, and the

failure of group members to develop them, limited the ef­ fectiveness of the treatment programs. Individual and *group” behavior as factors in thera­ py.

Not only did differences in individual and group activ­

ity skills and interests establish limits to group adjustive and correctional effectiveness, but group and individual be­ havior differences with reference to dominant activities al­ so seemed to limit therapeutic efforts.

The withdrawal of

BJ from the Arrow Club, reported above, appeared to involve more than differences in individual and group interests.64 RJ was described as a "shy, quiet boy, with an evident over­ dependence on his mother."

He seemed to dislike the noisy,

aggressive behavior of club members during play periods and meetings.

His only successful experience in the group was

related to a craft project in which he worked alone or with the adviser. in the club."

RJ also complained that "there were too many (The club enrolled sixteen members, and re­

ported an average attendance of twelve.)

R J fs record was

not completed following his withdrawal from the Arrow Club.

££• a n t e «* P« 202.

204 It appeared, however, that not only differences in activity interests and skills, but also differences in behavior separated HI from the other club members.

As a shy, quiet

individual, HI avoided contacts with the rather boisterous, aggressive behavior of other club members, and eventually withdrew from the group. A comparable situation, in reverse, was reported by the adviser of the Washington Gringos.

KP was a dominating

individual, who ran "rough shod" over the other members of his group.

His reputation as a "trouble maker" was support­

ed by unusual physical development for his age.

KP was in­

cluded in the group, "partly because the members dared not leave him out, and partly because some of the members se­ cretly admired his tough reputation."

As long as KP re­

mained in the group, the meetings were interrupted by tus­ sles, pranks, and fights.

Games with other clubs often end­

ed in fights, with KP as the instigator and leading figure. When KP was withdrawn from the group, the other members con­ ducted orderly meetings, exhibited cooperative attitudes toward opponents in games, and expanded their activities to include hikes, parent programs, crafts, parties, quiet games, etc.

Members, who had deferred to KP, assumed lead-

ership in planning and conducting club affairs.


63 Adapted from the adviser’s diary included in document number 58.

305 In the history of the Washington Gringos, KP appeared in suGh a dominating role that other members had little op­ portunity for self-expression.

His dominating behavior was

met by little adjustive or correctional pressure from group members.

Their admiration for his exploits, and fear

of his physical prowess, seemed to enhance rather than restrict his aggressive behavior.

K P fs difficulties and

needs were apparently unmet by the resources of the group and its adviser.

Placement in another group, more nearly

matching his physical development and behavior, was suggested for KP by the supervisor of the Washington . 66 G ringos. Record keeping and therapy.

It was assumed that an

adequate treatment process for group work therapy required the maintenance of individual as well as group records.


examination of record keeping practices, however, revealed that most records were related to collective experiences, and that few groups maintained individualized accounts of member participation and development.

Since negligible

differences in record keeping practices were noted between the groups with and without recognized instances of group work therapy, the data on records were tabulated for all of

66 Subsequently KP was referred to a case work agency by the supervisor. See page 210.

206 the fifty-one groups studied.67 Variations in recording practices covered a broad range.

For some of the groups the barest minimum, consist­

ing of -group rosters with the names, addresses, and ages of members, was available.

The incidence of various types of

group records is shown in Table XX. TABLE X X GROUP RECORDS REPORTED BY FIFTY-ONE LOS ANGELES GROUPS Record Practice Group rosters Attendance record Membership changes Constitutions Minutes Finance records Group face sheets A dv i s e r ’s reports A dviser’s diaries Program schedules Supervisor’s reports Scrapbooks Individual case reports Annuals and papers ^Friendship records *Group social histories ^Program practices questionnaire

Times Reported

Per cent Report i:

49 45 40 37 37 31 26 22 19 15 14 11 7 5 51 51

96.1 88.2 78.4 72.6 72.6 60.8 51.0 43.1 37.3 29.4 27.5 21.6 13.7 11.8 100.0 100.0



67 Participation of the Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies in the social-statistics project of the Children’s Bureau of the United States Department of Labor m a y have changed the recording practices of the groups materially since the data for this study were collected. * These records were developed in connection with the data secured for this survey of practices in group work.

207 Advisers’ reports and diaries, individual "case” re­ ports, records of* group visitations and advisers conferences by supervisors, and group minutes were the most likely sources of information concerning individual group members. Only one of these, group minutes, was mentioned by more than fifty per cent of the groups reporting.

The fragmentary

nature of the other recorded materials appeared as a limit­ ing factor in the practice of group work therapy.


placement of individuals, and the development of therapy plans were handicapped by the absence of record keeping practices in 56.9 per cent of the groups examined. Interests and needs of members as a basis for t herapy.

The examination of program and record keeping

practices indicated that the procedures for developing and maintaining activities were more adequately developed than the procedures for diagnosing and planning for the ’’needs” of group members.

Data in Table X X pointed to the rather

limited use of individual "case” records.

Only 13.7 per

cent of the groups reported such individualized accounts. Yet the "interests and needs” of members were reported as the basis for program development by 87.3 per cent of the advisers replying to the program practices questionnaire. The report of methods used in locating interests, Table XVTII, suggested more attention by advisers and supervisors

208 to interests than to needs.

It was noted that such methods

as home and school visitation, individual interviews, and the use of existing individual records were reported by less than 6.5 per cent of the groups.

Check lists and question­

naires, suggestions by members, and group discussions were most frequently used methods of locating "interests and needs."68 Such methods produced "generalized interests" and activity centered programs.

It was noted that 82.3 per cent

of the groups reported team games as a dominant group ac­ tivity and twenty-nine of thirty-three b oys’ groups were engaged in competitive athletics. The preponderance of generalized group interests used in program development, and the limited use of individual interviews, diagnosis, and records, pointed to an interestcentered rather than a need-centered program in the groups included in this survey.

The preoccupation of advisers and

groups, especially the former, with the maintenance and direction of activities based on general interests seemed to limit the effectiveness of therapy programs. Balanced advisory efforts and group work therapy. The necessity for maintaining a balance of advisory efforts between attention to individuals requiring therapeutic

68 Cf. a n t e ., p. 183.

209 treatment, and the maintenance of a satisfactory group ex­ perience for the remainder of the group appeared as a further limitation upon the therapeutic value of the groups analyzed.

The social history of the Washington Gringus, for

example, indicated a series of crises that threatened the group’s continuity and limited its effectiveness.


describing a meeting of the club, the adviser wrote: At the meeting we discussed plans for amateur night, practiced a duet, and a group stunt, and finished by playing bingo. KP did his best to break up everything the club tried to do. . . He refused to be a part of the sham £group stunt ] . The window of a nearby room gives access to the roof, and KP had a gay time thrilling everyone by climbing out on the roof. He swiped a hat from a neighbor’s room, and I had to make him take it back. He was continually lying down on the bed with his feet on the spread. M y roommate’s spread is all torn and dirty now from his lying on it. KP continually interrupted the meeting with loud talk, dirty language, and swearing. I pleaded, argued, and then showed authority by pushing him around, but to no avail. . . When the meeting was over, I took the little kids fsic] out on the campus to prevent them from being mauled £by KP] , and £the supervisor] took KP down. . . I admire the spunk of the other club members. They know that every meeting they come to exposes them to the imminent danger of being beat up £siel but they come anyway usually. . . The new boy that came last week and was the object of K P ’s special attention failed to make an appearance this week. . . On the way home, RW said that his mother thoughtKP shouldn’t be allowed in the club.6^ After several meetings of this general character, the ad­ viser stated: "All m y time seemed to be taken up in trying 70

to keep KP from doing something that he shouldn’t.” ^ 69 Advi s e r ’s diary in document 58. 70 Loc. cit.

210 KP was finally transferred to a case work agency, and the group continued without his unusual demands upon the adviser’s time and energy.

In commenting.on the group’s

meeting the week following K P ’s transfer, the adviser com­ mented: "For the first time at any club meeting I had a feeling of accomplishment when the meeting was over.”


With KP gone the fellows felt that the club was really theirs now, and they entered into the meeting with a vim that had been lacking before. This feeling of being able to do something for the boys thrilled me, and I think that now I am going to get a kick out of working with the club.?2 Advisory attention In the Washington Gringos seemed unbalanced in the direction of KP.

This individual demanded

so much attention that the adviser and group members were having an unsatisfactory experience, and pointed to the necessity of maintaining a balance between efforts in behalf of individuals and the group as a whole.

It seemed neces­

sary to keep the group work process functioning for the group during the operation of an individual therapy plan. Failure to do so established definite limits to the therapeutic possibilities of the groups studied. Referral practices and therapy.

A study of the

social history materials revealed a total of ten persons

71 k ° ° » o i t . 72 Loc. cit.

Sll referred between group work and case work agencies out of a total of 1,406 group enrollments.

Two were referrals from

group work to case work agencies, and eight were referrals from case work to group work agencies.

Only one (KF)


was actually a "new referral" from a group work to a ease work agency.

The other instance (V*---}


involved the re­

instatement of supervision previously initiated by a case work agency.

Seven-tenths of one per cent of the total

group enrollments, therefore, were referrals. Comparable data on referrals were not available in related studies.

It appeared, however, that referral

practices of the group work agencies represented in this study were undeveloped, and that the resources of case work agencies were not fully employed by group advisers and supervisors.

Limitations in record keeping, and the con­

tinuation of information about case work resources and con­ tacts with case work agencies in the hands of professional group workers, contributed to the limited use of referral resources.

The potentialities of group work therapy seemed

to be limited by undeveloped referral practices in the groups examined.

The group work therapy examined in the course of this

73 £££• 74 Document number 1.

212 investigation dealt largely with "troublesome individuals” arising within already established groups and agency ac­ tivities.

Studies of the factors in successful placement

for group work therapy, and of the types of individual difficulties susceptible to therapeutic treatment in groups were apparently needed to amplify the data presented in the above analysis of group work therapy.


See S. R. Slavson, "Group Therapy,” Mental Hy g i e n e » XXIV (January, 1940), p. 13, for a discussion of unsuitable clients for group work therapy.

CHAPTER VIII SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS This study of current group work practice involved an analysis of structure, process, function, and therapeu­ tic efforts in the reconstructed social histories of fiftyone Los Angeles groups.

Dual aspects of this analysis were

(1) a limited examination of social process as evidenced in various group processes within the selected groups; and (2) the tabulation of evidences of the development and use of group work practices in relation to the processes, structures, and functions revealed in the social history materials. SUMMARY Methods, of securing data.

An outline of questions

for the development of the social history of a group, a Friendship Record, and a questionnaire dealing with program practices were developed to collect the basic data.

In ­

formation secured through the use of these schedules was supplemented by interviews, observations of the groups in action, and by such records as were available. The development of the social histories involved: (1) an agency interview to secure cooperation and suggested groups for study; (2) an interview with the adviser or

214 supervisor (usually the former) to introduce the purposes of the study, and to explain the use of the social history outline; (5) the preparation of the preliminary social history narrative by the adviser;

(4) a follow-up interview

with the narrator to supplement and confirm the data of the preliminary historical account; (5) the testing of the data in interviews with the supervisor and selected group mem­ bers; and (6) the integration of all materials from records, interviews, observations, and preliminary narratives into a reconstructed social history in each case. Nature of data.

Sources of data and their subsequent

treatment weighted the materials in favor of a consideration of groups as groups, rather than in favor of a consideration of individual members.

The relative effects of methods and

processes upon particular individuals were infrequently noted.

Central tendencies in groups, and the range of

total group experiences were the basis of most of the re­ corded judgments in the social history materials. The data schedules, with the exception of the Friendship Records, were developed for use by advisers and supervisors.

Interviews with members, and observations of

the groups in action were made to verify data from these schedules.

The materials derived from the social history

outlines and program questionnaires, however, were largely

215 interpretations of group experiences by advisers and super­ visors. The willingness of advisers and supervisors to pro­ vide information about their groups, and their skill in using the social history outline were determining factors in the selection of groups for study.

The selected groups

included considerable variation in terms of the types of sponsoring agency, the age and sex of members, the type of organization, and the length of time they had been organized.

Characterized in terms of central tendencies

(medians), the typical selected group had an enrollment of twenty members between fourteen and fifteen years of age, an Index of Friendship of .456, and had been organized for twenty-nine months. Treatment of d a t a .

In treating the data, attention

was directed to the discovery of a convergence of replies in the conditions, facts, patterns, and processes described in the social histories.

Recurrent changes in origins and

formation, membership identification, projection of leader­ ship, development of structures, maintenance of social unity, and the development of controls were classified and tabulated.

Sequences and coexistences in processes and

techniques were items of special consideration.

Group by

group examination and interpretation of the social

216 histories, and statistical analyses were the methods used in the development of the materials. Numerical values assigned to various friendship choices recorded on the Friendship Record were the basis of computing an Index of Friendship.

The Index of Friendship

was used as an indication of the level of cohesiveness in the selected groups.

Rates of membership change, tenure,

enrollment, Indices of Friendship, and age of members were the constants used for the comparison of the various pat­ terns and processes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS I. CROUP PROCESSES Patterns of formation.

Dominant formative character­

istics, indicated in agency interpretations of group ori­ gins, revealed six patterns of formation.

The patterns were

(1) imitation, (2) secession, (3) exclusion, (4) combina­ tion, (5) fabrication, and (6) natural.

Fabricated patterns

resulted from agency efforts to form clubs.

Natural pat­

terns were characterized by the spontaneous selection of members prior to any agency contact or affiliation.^ 1 C f . a n t e ., p. 94. Definitions of fabricated and natural groups were advanced by Hedley S. Dimock, Redis­ covering the Adolescent, (Association Press, 1937), p. 173. The identification of the four other patterns of formation was a part of the present study.

217 Fabricated and natural patterns distinguished agency-formed and non-agency-formed groups.

The other four patterns,

—imitation, secession, exclusion, and combination, occurred as minor formative influences within the natural and fabri­ cation patterns of the histories examined. Imitation patterns of formation involved the dupli­ cation by younger relatives and acquaintances of the organ­ izational patterns and activities of older units within the same social milieu.

Group work supervisors, also used imita­

tion patterns in forming clubs within agency settings. Groups formed on this basis reported a median Index of Friendship of .510, and a median tenure of twenty-six 2 months.

Secession patterns of formation developed from the withdrawal of a faction, clique, or segment of an already existing group. or tension.


Such patterns were accompanied by conflict

Groups formed through secession displayed high

degrees of cohesiveness that were apparently outgrowths of factional pressures in the original organizations.


median Index of Friendship of .663, and the median tenure of thirty-two months, for secession patterns, were the A highest recorded for any formative pattern. These medians

2 See Table VIII, p. 108. 3 Of. ante., p. 97. 4 See Table VIII, p. 108.

218 indicated high levels of stability. Exclusion patterns grew out of collective reactions to the racial, economic, and selective membership barriers of existing groups.

The fact of exclusion from the avail­

able clubs provided a focal point for the development of a common interest that resulted in group formation.


ferences in activity skills, interests, levels of physical and social development were also indicated as potential factors in the development of exclusion patterns.


exhibiting exclusion patterns had a median Index of Friendship of .641, and a median tenure of twenty-nine months.


Combination patterns were evidenced in the joining of two or more groups, or segments, to form a third unit. Groups so formed were characterized by low Indices of Friendship.

The median Index of Friendship was .411, and

the median tenure was sixteen months, the lowest registered 7 for any formative pattern. Clubs exhibiting combination patterns tended to develop friction between the combining units.8 Arranged in the order of the highest levels of re­ sulting tenure, the minor formative patterns were secession,

5 Cf. ante., p. 97. 6 See Table VIII, p. 102. 7 £°c * cit. ® € f . ante., pp. 98ff.

219 exclusion, imitation, and combination.

The tendencies to

internal friction in groups originating from combination patterns of formation,

indicated rather limited potentiali­

ties for group work purposes.

High levels of cohesiveness

in the seeession-pattern clubs supported Thrasher’s state­ ment that conflict within or without a g r o u p ’s social milieu contributed to the development of high levels of group consciousness.9 Natural patterns of formation.

A tabulation of the

major formative patterns revealed that twenty-two of the fifty-one units were in existence as gangs or neighborhood play groups prior to contact and sponsorship by a group work agency.

The natural groups registered a median Index of

Friendship of .619, and a median tenure of twenty-four m o n t h s .1(^ Data available on membership persistence sug­ gested that the fairly high levels of tenure for natural groups were accompanied by low rates of membership turn­ over.11 An examination of the social histories of the twentytwo natural groups revealed five sequential factors in their patterns of formation.

These factors, in the order of their

9 Frederick M. Thrasher, The G a n g , (Chicago: Univer­ sity of Chicago Press, 1927), p. 50. 10 See Table VIII, p. 102. C f . a n t e .. p. 174.

220 appearance, were: (1) the existence of physical nearness limits; (2) the existence of foci for the development of common interests; (3) the establishment of social nearness limits; (4) the development of shared experiences; and (5) 12 the development of a friendship bond. While the importance of these factors in group formation has been discussed by other w r i t e r s , t h e present study has verified their sequential nature. The fact that twenty-two of the fifty-one groups came from neighborhood play groups or gangs carried impli­ cations for group work.

(1) It was significant that the

participating agencies were able successfully to recruit and retain natural groups.

(2) Their enlistment repre­

sented, in part, an agency recognition of the importance of friendship in determining the attitudes and behavior of 14 individuals. High Indices of Friendship, the median index was .619, indicated that the neighborhood gangs and play units had established significant friendship relationships

12 Of. ante., pp. 103ff. 1 3 Especially Grace X*. Coyle, Social Process in Organized G r o u p s . (New York: Richard R. Smith, 1930); Earle E. Eubank, "The Concept of ’The Group’ ," Sociology and Social Research, XII (May-June, 1928), pp. 421-30; and W. I. Newstetter, Group Adjustment: A Study in Experimental Sociology, (Cleveland: Western Reserve University, 1938). 1^ Hugh Hartshorne and Mark May, Studies in Dec e i t , (New York: Columbia University Press, 1928), pp. 274-i5.

221 prior to agency contacts.

(3) Agency workers faced a

problem in relating the previously developed structures, leadership, and objectives of natural groups to the pur­ poses, structures, leadership, and facilities of the agency and its related organizations.

Dual structures,

and attitudes of toleration, resentful conformity, and cooperative acceptance accompanied agency efforts to re­ cruit and retain natural groups.

The avoidance of the

development of undesirable attitudes was essential to the most effective retention of such clubs for group work purposes.

(4) Natural groups were characterized by closed

membership practices.

Such practices contributed to their

stability and effectiveness, but they also operated as limiting factors in the therapeutic placement of individu­ als. Fabricated patterns of formation.

Twenty-four of

the fifty-one groups involved in the study came into being through agency sponsored and directed efforts.


fabricated clubs were characterized by: (1) longer periods of tenure (the median was thirty-one months) than the natural groups, but with a correspondingly higher rate of 1

membership turnover of 46.8 per cent;

(2) lower levels of

cohesiveness than natural groups, with a median Index of 15 of. a n t e ., p. 102, Table VTII, and p. 174

zzz Friendship of ,380;16 (3) more rapid development of structures than natural groups

and (4) similar formative

patterns to those of the natural groups, hut with the pat18 terns stimulated by workers in an agency setting. Important implications from the reported character­ istics of fabricated groups were; (1) that within the limits of their programs and facilities, it was possible for agencies to promote the formation of groups through the duplication of the formative sequence noted for natural groups; (2) that the lower rates of cohesiveness in fabri­ cated clubs facilitated the placement of individuals for group experience and therapy; and (3} that the super­ imposition of agency structures created objectionable atti­ tudes and restricted the development of skills in creating structures to meet recognized group functions.


In duplicating the formative sequence of natural groups, workers simulated physical nearness limits in agency buildings, facilities.

or in terms of other agency equipment or

Interests were stimulated through suggestion,

demonstration and promotive efforts.

Foci for the organi­

zation of common interests 'were usually provided within the 16 17 18 19

see Of. Of. Cf.

Table VIII, p. 102. a n t e .. pp. 133ff. a n t e .. p. 96, and p. 110. a n t e . . pp. 174ff.

223 agency environment or program. In the data examined, however, agencies gave com­ paratively less attention to the factor of social nearness limits in the formation of groups than they gave to physical nearness, interest stimulation and projection, the develop­ ment of formal structures, and the establishment of shared experiences.

Overemphasis by advisers and supervisors on

these latter factors apparently contributed to the noted weaknesses of fabricated clubs, namely, low levels of cohesiveness, high rates of membership turnover, and over­ developed structures.

Increased attention to social near­

ness limits in group formation, less attention to the in­ troduction of structures from agency sources, and an ex­ pansion of the member-planned experiences appeared as the steps to be taken to increase the effectiveness of fabricated groups.


Projection and response to leadership.

Four patterns

of response to indigenous leadership were displayed in the social history materials.

These patterns were characterized

by (1) the projection of leadership in terms of one person; (2) the projection of leadership in terms of a clique of two, three, or four members; (3) the projection of leader-