Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice

  • Advanced multilevel modeling for a science of groups: A short primer on multilevel structural equation modeling. 20170720
    A science of groups needs to take different levels of analysis into account since only multilevel perspectives provide a full and realistic picture of processes within and between social groups. A multilevel perspective, however, requires appropriate statistical models. Conventional multilevel regression models suffer from a number of limitations. Among these are the restriction to include only manifest variables and only one Level 1 outcome variable. Moreover, it is not possible to test complex models (i.e., with multiple mediators and outcomes in a single step). In this paper, we introduce multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) as a new and promising development within psychological methods that helps overcome the limitations inherent in conventional MLM. MSEM combines SEM with MLM and offers the best of both worlds. Because MSEM allows using latent instead of manifest variables, measurement error can be taken into account. Moreover, the measurement model can be tested on both the within and between-levels of analysis. MSEM enables researchers to specify Level 2 outcome variables and allows the researcher to test complex multilevel models (i.e., simultaneous tests of multiple direct and indirect effects). We illustrate the potential of MSEM using three examples from our own research, provide the corresponding software code as online supplementary material, and discuss important practical issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Psychodynamic group intervention with parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Outcomes for parents and their children. 20170720
    The study measured the impact of a psychodynamic group intervention on parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Outcomes of treatment for the 78 parents (perceived social support, parenting style, and self-efficacy) and their nontreated children (n = 78; self-efficacy and emotional/behavioral state) were compared with nontreatment parents at pre–post measurement. For treatment parents, a follow-up measurement was conducted. Treatment parents showed better outcomes than nontreatment parents on all measures. Children of treatment parents showed more favorable outcomes than children of nontreatment parents, further validating the impact of the intervention. The conclusion is that psychodynamic interventions that target broad characteristics of parenting are effective in bringing change to parents and children alike. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Group versus individual risk choices in female workgroups in Ethiopia. 20170720
    A lottery choice task was conducted to examine the risk attitudes of 352 Ethiopian women who were members of 72 female workgroups in the spices processing business in Addis Ababa. The women were asked to make risk choices on their own, and the same choices together with the other members of their workgroup, as a group decision. Our study is different from earlier research in the field in that it focuses on poor women operating a business in a low-income patriarchal society. The data show younger and more educated women to be more risk-taking in their individual choices than older and less educated women. The group choices were more cautious than the (means of) the individual choices of the members, hence providing evidence of a cautious shift. Groups that were more risk-taking had better business performance in terms of capital gains, hired workers and income earned by the women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • All bonds are not the same: A response surface analysis of the perceptions of positive bonding relationships in therapy groups. 20170918
    Intrapersonal split alliances were defined as discrepancies in how group members perceived their positive bonding relationships with the group leader, the other group members, and the group-as-a-whole, and were related to group members’ outcome. Participants were 168 patients (116 women and 52 men) diagnosed as overweight or obese who participated in 1 of 20, 12-session, therapy groups for weight management. Group members completed the Outcome Questionnaire-45 (OQ-45, Lambert et al., 2004) pre- and posttreatment and the Group Questionnaire (GQ, Krogel et al., 2013) at early, middle and late group sessions. Early, middle, and late ratings were aggregated because bond scores were consistent across time. Two-level (members within groups), polynomial regressions and response surface analyses were used to examine congruency and discrepancy in ratings of Positive Bonding Relationships to the leader, group members, and group-as-a-whole. When the discrepancy between positive bonding relationships with the leader and positive bonding relationships with the group members increased, and when the discrepancy between positive bonding relationships with the group members and positive bonding relationships with the group-as-a-whole increased, there was less symptom improvement. The findings show that, like interpersonal split alliances, intrapersonal split alliances are harmful for treatment progress and need to be recognized and addressed by the group leader. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Are the ambitions for Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice being fulfilled? A social network analysis of citations of journals publishing group research. 20170918
    We examined the centrality of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice in the communication network of major journals publishing group research. We used document citation analysis, a bibliographic approach based on citation frequency, to determine the degree of relationship among the journals publishing group research. A 23 by 23 cocitation matrix was analyzed using NetDraw and UCINET. The resulting social network analysis showed that Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice: (a) occupied a central place in the journals’ communication network; (b) had a betweenness centrality index (indicating a journal’s linking role within the social network) that was 3 standard deviations greater than the sample’s average betweenness centrality index; and (c) had the same number of communication links as higher- impact journals like the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Applied Psychology. These results suggest that Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice occupies a “favored position” in the communication network of the journals publishing group research. The communication network would tend to disintegrate if Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice was removed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)


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