Using and misusing factor analysis to explore group cohesion

Authors

  • Albert A. Cota,

    Corresponding author
    1. Joyceville Institution, Ontario, Canada N6A 3E3)
    • Albert A. Cota, (who is now at the Western Ontario District Office, Correctional Service of Canada (Parole), Suite 501, 457 Richmond Street, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3E3)

      R. Stewart Longman, (who is now at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, Psychology Department, 2180 23rd Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A5)

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  • R. Stewart Longman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Swift Current Mental Health Centre, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A5)
    • Albert A. Cota, (who is now at the Western Ontario District Office, Correctional Service of Canada (Parole), Suite 501, 457 Richmond Street, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3E3)

      R. Stewart Longman, (who is now at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, Psychology Department, 2180 23rd Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A5)

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  • Charles R. Evans,

    1. University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada N6A 3E3)
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  • Kenneth L. Dion,

    1. University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada N6A 3E3)
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  • Lindy Kilik

    1. Queen's University, Ontario, Canada N6A 3E3)
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Abstract

Group cohesion is an important construct in understanding the behavior of different types of groups. However, controversy exists about how to conceptualize and measure cohesion, and a central issue is its dimensionality. Consequently, researchers have used factor analysis to examine the structure of the construct of cohesion and measures of it. Our goals in writing this article were to review critically how factor analysis has been used to understand group cohesion, make some recommendations for future factor analytic work, and point out some weaknesses and strengths in using factor analysis to explore cohesion.

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