Date of Completion


Embargo Period



dissemination; research to practice gap; education

Major Advisor

Sandra M. Chafouleas, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Lisa H. Sanetti, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Jennifer N. Dineen, Ph.D.

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The research-to-practice gap (RPG) is a continued concern in education, with limited knowledge and use of evidence-based practices by school practitioners frequently cited in the educational literature. Although studies exist evaluating practitioners’ perspectives on RPG, to date, no study has examined the education researchers’ approaches to dissemination. The purpose of this study was to understand education researchers’ engagement in dissemination activities targeting non-research audiences. School psychology and special education researchers (n = 226) working at research intensive institutions completed an online survey about their dissemination practices during the 2017-18 academic year. Overall, respondents reported engaging in low rates of dissemination targeting applied audiences, with over half of sample reporting spending less than two hours per week on dissemination activities focused on these audiences. Participants indicated that academic journal articles and conference presentations were the most frequently used modalities for dissemination. Common barriers reported by respondents were limited time to dedicate to dissemination and that dissemination is a low priority for their institutions. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine a scale evaluating researcher intent to disseminate, with results supporting a two-factor structure including subjective norms and intent to disseminate subscales. Intent to disseminate was correlated with engagement in dissemination and was a significant predictor of both time dedicated to dissemination targeting non-research audiences and the number of dissemination activities produced during the 17-18 year. In terms of demographic characteristics, those participants with previous experience in applied settings dedicated a greater number of hours per week to dissemination targeting applied audiences than those without such experience. Faculty rank and tenure status were not associated with differences in the number of dissemination activities or time spent on dissemination. After controlling for the variance explained by intent to disseminate, professional characteristics were not predictive of engagement in dissemination during the 2017-2018 year.