Cohesion as a Basic Bond in Groups
AbstractCohesion continues to remain a popular concept among group therapists and leaders of experientially based learning groups despite persistent confusion about its meaning. The present study provided an empirical basis for clarification of the concept of cohesion. Forty-five participants from nine experientially based learning groups provided self-report and behavioral data concerning a number of aspects of cohesion. Factor analyses of the self-report data generated three sets of factors that dealt with the participant's perception of the other participants, the leader, and the group as a whole. One of the factors concerned the participant's commitment to the group. It was significantly related to remaining in the group and physical distance to others but not to perceptions of learning. It was regarded as a good representation of cohesion as defined as a basic bond or uniting force in a group. The advantages of restricting oneself to a circumscribed definition of cohesion were emphasized as well as maintaining distinctions between cohesion and other concepts.