Low test-retest reliabilities over periods from ten
days to five months have been obtained on a partial-rank order sociometric, the PSI, of preschool-age
children’s peer preferences. These results have
been interpreted to mean that preschool-age children
do not have stable and enduring friendships
with their peers. An alternative possibility is that
the reliabilities of partially ranked data are so low
as to obscure the existence of stable individual
friendships in this age group. A full-rank order sociometric
instrument, the PCST, utilizing color
photographs of the children in a preschool group as
aids in eliciting friendship choices from the children,
was developed and tested on a group of three-year-olds and a group of four-year-olds. The sociometric
measurements from both the PSI and the
PCST were most reliable for the four-year-old
group. Correlations between the PSI and the PCST,
when corrected for attenuation, revealed that the
two measures were probably assessing the same
peer choice behavior, although the PCST was
markedly superior in reliability. Administration
time for the PCST was higher but substantially less
than for previous paired-comparisons procedures.
Cohen, Allan S & Van Tassel, Elizabeth. (1978). A comparison of partial and complete paired comparisons in sociometric measurement of preschool groups. Applied Psychological Measurement, 2, 31-40. doi:10.1177/014662167800200103
Cohen, Allan S.; Van Tassel, Elizabeth.
A comparison of partial and complete paired comparisons in sociometric measurement of preschool groups.
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