Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department / School



This study, following a Social Psychological approach to the study of human behavior, as attempted to (1) develop an objective instrument for identifying “significant others” and (2) present some evidence concerning the validity and reliability of this measuring instrument. Attention is focused especially on the adolescent pattern of “significant others” relations emphasizing the role of parents as “significant others.” A sociometric technique, being both objective and flexible has been used in this study. For these reasons, this research study presents evidence concerning the theoretical validity and reliability of an objective test of interpersonal relations based on this form of measurement. It is hypothesized that a lack of “significant others” relations to others will lead to disturbances in self-conception and behavior. Results of this study present considerable evidence which points to the strong probability that the significant others measure which has been developed is a reliable and valid one. The lack of a strong positive relationship to parents was also found to be associated with disturbances in self-conception indicating the potential important of the concept of “significant others” for understanding juvenile behavior problems.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Interpersonal relations


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University