Examining School Culture and Resources as Predictors of the Implementation of Evidence-Based Intervention
There is a lag in implementation of evidence-based interventions (EBI) in public schools in the United States. This lag creates a gap between what has been scientifically supported and what has also been implemented in school settings by special education teachers and school psychologists. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if consultation and professional development resources and 2 elements of school culture (school climate and school characteristics) predict the implementation of EBIs. The study tested 7 potential predictor variables: professional development, consultation, school climate, inclusive characteristic, exclusive characteristic, bureaucratic characteristic, and adhocratic characteristic. Survey data from 137 middle school special education teachers and psychologists were analyzed using stepwise multiple linear regression analysis. Notable findings included that consultation accounted for 11% of the variance of EBI frequency alone, professional development accounted for 9%, and both combined accounted for 16%. Similarly, consultation accounted for 11% of the variance of implementation duration, professional development accounted for 8%, and both combined accounted for 15%. This study promotes positive social change through identifying ways for school administrators to increase school personnel's EBI implementation behavior: by investing in professional development and investing in consultation. Investments in these resources is predicted to improve school staffs' ability to better meet the complex educational needs of students with autism in least restrictive environments.