Date of Completion


Embargo Period



fidelity of implementation, evaluation, adherence, adaptation, productive adaptation, research on evaluation

Major Advisor

Dr. Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead

Associate Advisor

Dr. Christopher Rhoads

Associate Advisor

Dr. Eric Loken

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Fidelity of implementation (FoI) should be measured to understand why or how interventions and programs work; although, this well-intentioned maxim has been riddled with debate and division (Century, Rudnick, & Freeman, 2010; Dane & Schneider, 1998; Mowbray, Holter, Teague, & Bybee, 2003; Ruiz-Primo, 2006). One such debate is the role of adherence and adaptation in FoI. Using Century & Cassata’s (2016) conceptualization of the adherence-adaptation debate, I hypothesized three profiles representing researcher and evaluator beliefs about the role of adherence and adaptation in FoI: pro-adherence, pro-adaptation, and productive adaptation.

A newly-developed Fidelity Agreement Measure (FAM) profiled underlying researcher and evaluator perspectives on the adherence-adaptation debate using latent profile analysis (LPA), offering support for a three-class model. Qualitative coding of the FAM and cognitive interviews provided evidence for the hypothesized pro-adherence and pro-adaptation perspectives amongst respondents, with tentative support found for the productive adaptation perspective, due to the weak boundaries defining this perspective. Most respondents (76%) aligning with the productive adaptation perspective challenges the historically dominant pro-adherence perspective in the literature, with 16% and 8% of respondents associating with the pro-adherence and pro-adaptation perspectives (Century & Cassata, 2016). The six themes identified from cognitive interviews drew attention to larger underlying conversations in the literature surrounding the disconnect between theory, practice, and policy. These disconnects were discussed in relation to the literature as a whole, evaluation specifically, as well as in the context of this study.