Ethical Administration of Sociometric Measures: Procedures in Use and Suggestions for Improvement

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Abstract

Success in the ethical use of sociometric measures requires understanding the impact of the variety of procedures in use. This study identified sociometric testing procedures currently in use in the peer-relations literature and summarized procedures that researchers have found useful in minimizing risk to research participants. Researchers who use sociometric measures (n = 145) completed a survey about procedures used in their sociometric research. Results indicated variability in sociometric question format, consent–assent procedures, confidentiality instructions, and scheduling and administration procedures. Procedures for conducting sociometric research so as to maximize adherence to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (American Psychological Association, 1992) and to minimize risk to children are suggested, and needs for future research on sociometric testing are discussed.

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