Cohesion as Shared Beliefs in Exercise Classes
The purpose of the study was to determine if perceptions of cohesion in exercise classes demonstrated sufficiently high consensus and between-group variance to support a conclusion that exercise classes are groups. Participants (N = 1,700) in 130classes were tested on either the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ) or the Physical Activity Group Environment Questionnaire (PAGEQ). Results showed that exercise classes satisfied the statistical criteria necessary to support a conclusion that they are true groups; that is, they exhibited acceptable levels of consensus about cohesion within classes and acceptable differences in cohesion between classes. In addition, index-of-agreement values were significantly greater for participants completing the PAGEQ than for participants completing the GEQ. Finally, consensus was greatest when participants evaluated how the exercise class satisfied their own personal task needs (i.e., individual attractions to the group-task), and second greatest when participants evaluated the collective unity around the task objectives (i.e., group integration-task).
Shauna M. Burke, Albert V. Carron, Michelle M. Patterson, Paul A. Estabrooks, Jennie L. Hill, Todd M. Loughead, Sara R. Rosenkranz, and Kevin S. Spink. "Cohesion as Shared Beliefs in Exercise Classes" Small Group Research 36 (2005): 267-288.