Exploring the Relationship between Cohesion and Group Resistance to Disruption

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Gross and Martin (1952), and Escovar and Sim (1974), proposed group resistance to disruption (GRD) as an alternative conception of cohesion, but the GRD/cohesion relationship has not been empirically examined. In Study 1, this relationship was examined using an extreme-groups design. It was a priori predicted that elite athletes perceiving high team cohesion would also perceive high GRD. The prediction was supported for three of four aspects of cohesion assessed by the Group Environment Questionnaire. Study 2 methodologically extended Study 1 and examined the GRD/cohesion relationship comparatively across physical activity groups. Elite sport, recreational sport, and fitness class groups were assessed. Participants extreme in GRD were predicted on the basis of their cohesion scores. Results indicated that the form and extent of the GRD/cohesion relationship was moderated by group type. In both studies, group task cohesion was positively related to GRD for all samples. The studies represent the first demonstration of this important but neglected relationship.

Each investigator contributed significantly to the research for this article and authorship is considered as joint.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Lawrence R. Brawley, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont., Canada N2L 3G1.

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