From the study of the modification of PE and PP with maleic anhydride, maleic acid and an acid salt of maleic acid (sodium maleate) in a liquid or solid state, it was shown that the main controlling factor in the solid state modification of polyolefins is the joint plastic deformation of the system components. The changes of molecular characteristics were investigated by gel permeation chromatography. It was shown, that the molecular weight of modified PP samples increases at times by linking with intermolecular associates in the solutions. The formation of associates plays essential role in the behaviour of solutions of modified PP. The morphology of modified PP samples was investigated by scanning electron microscopy. It was shown, that intermolecular association strongly influences on the processes of formation and growth of nucleus and the structure of generated polymeric materials.