Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Syverson, Genevieve B.||Leonard, Lloyd L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Education




It was the purpose of this study (1) to survey the literature from 1955-1965 concerning the use of sociometry with young children of preschool age through the third grade; and, (2) on the basis of this survey, to perceive what changes in attitude have occurred during the last decade with regard to sociometry which would determine the usefulness of the measure for instructional groups at the primary level. Within this broad framework of reference, the following areas were considered: 1. the purposes for which sociometric techniques have been used with young school children, 2. the applicability of sociometric techniques for use with young children, 3. the conclusions which have derived from sociometric studies of young school children, 4. the practicability and possible value of sociometry to the classroom teacher, 5. the likely limitations of sociometry as a method for studying group interaction, and 6. possible implications of the method for further research with young children in school. The data were collected, examined, and classified in terms of the subject content of the studies reviewed. Introductory information and definition of terms used were presented in Chapter I. In Chapter II, a brief summary of the genesis and history of the group concept, as it led to the formulation of sociometric theory, was presented, followed by a general discussion of basic sociometric concepts. Literature pertaining to the application of sociometry to the early primary grades, in the years preceding 1955,was reviewed briefly. Chapter III contained a detailed review of the literature in the years 1955 to 1965. The final chapter summarized Chapter III and revealed the conclusions and implications that evolved from the study. Sociometry has been used in the early grades for the purposes of analyzing classroom social structure and diagnosing problems of social adjustment. The technique was found to be applicable for use with young children provided that certain administrative adaptations were made to the verbal and conceptual immaturity of the subjects. Results of sociometric testing have revealed useful information regarding the development of social perception in children and its relationship to general adjustment and academic achievement in school. In addition, the interactions among the individual, the group, and the teacher have been disclosed through sociometric information. For the teacher, the technique has been convenient and easy to administer in the classroom. Knowledge gained from the results of sociometric testing has facilitated the identification of social adjustment problems in the class, while providing a basis for restructuring group interaction patterns toward more positive goals. Implications for further research which evolved from this study were: (1) the need for sociometric testing procedures more appropriate to the levels of verbalization and conceptualization found in young children; (2) the need for improved quantitative measures for analyzing sociometric data, for the purpose of improving the reliability of the responses; (3) In light of the current emphasis upon preschool programs for the culturally deprived, additional study in the areas of self-perception and in the social perception of others for purposes of determining the factors which lead to acceptance and rejection among these children, so that therapeutic measures may be formulated and evaluated; (4) the need for ascertaining the factors which predispose to acceptance or rejection between the children and the adult figures in the school; and, (5) additional knowledge to discover whether a teacher’s social-perceptual ability is related to her effectiveness as a teacher, and if so, the possibility of including the teaching of perceptual skills in teacher-training programs.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vii, 128 pages




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