Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


School Psychology



First Advisor

Gary Stoner


This study evaluated the relationship between the availability of so-called contextual factors in schools and teachers’ implementation fidelity of IEP related interventions. It also analyzed which of these factors teachers reported as being important to intervention implementation. General education elementary school teachers (N = 91) were recruited for this study from schools throughout New England. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups, a group that answered study questions based on an IEP related intervention they were having difficulty implementing or a group that answered questions based on an intervention for which they were not experiencing difficulty with implementation. Both groups completed a survey for this study, the Self-Assessment of Contextual Fit of Students’ IEPs for Individual Teachers, which asked them to rate the availability and importance of 20 different contextual factors identified in research as influencing intervention implementation. After completing the survey, participants were also categorized as belonging to a low fidelity group and a high fidelity group based on a self-report measure used by the study to determine teachers’ level of implementation fidelity.

Mann-Whitney U tests were used to evaluate if there were group differences in teachers’ ratings of the contextual factors available to them and the importance of specific contextual factors in relation to implementing interventions. Results revealed a relationship between how stressful an intervention was to implement for a teacher and whether they identified an intervention as difficult to implement. Analyses also revealed a correlation between intervention fidelity and the number of students with IEPs for whom a teacher was responsible, the number of special education classes a teacher has completed, teachers ratings of their skill at implementing the intervention, their overall skill level, and the level of stress experienced by a teacher when implementing an intervention. Mann-Whitney U tests only revealed one significant group difference in the contextual factors teachers reported as being important to intervention implementation. That is, teachers reported significantly different levels of importance for being made aware that a student entering their classroom is provided educational services through an IEP. This study not only serves to further support current research into the relationship between contextual factors and intervention fidelity, it also provides administrators in schools and school districts with insight into the best methods for supporting teachers’ different levels of intervention fidelity.



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