Prevention Science

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 40–51 | Cite as

Setting-Level Influences on Implementation of the Responsive Classroom Approach

  • Shannon B. WanlessEmail author
  • Christine L. Patton
  • Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman
  • Nancy L. Deutsch


We used mixed methods to examine the association between setting-level factors and observed implementation of a social and emotional learning intervention (Responsive Classroom® approach; RC). In study 1 (N = 33 3rd grade teachers after the first year of RC implementation), we identified relevant setting-level factors and uncovered the mechanisms through which they related to implementation. In study 2 (N = 50 4th grade teachers after the second year of RC implementation), we validated our most salient Study 1 finding across multiple informants. Findings suggested that teachers perceived setting-level factors, particularly principal buy-in to the intervention and individualized coaching, as influential to their degree of implementation. Further, we found that intervention coaches’ perspectives of principal buy-in were more related to implementation than principals’ or teachers’ perspectives. Findings extend the application of setting theory to the field of implementation science and suggest that interventionists may want to consider particular accounts of school setting factors before determining the likelihood of schools achieving high levels of implementation.


Implementation Intervention Social-emotional learning Mixed methods 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A070063 to the University of Virginia. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the U.S. Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon B. Wanless
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine L. Patton
    • 2
  • Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman
    • 3
  • Nancy L. Deutsch
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychology in Education, School of EducationUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Family Research Project, Graduate School of EducationHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Curry School of EducationUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Curry School of EducationUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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