The influence of fidelity of implementation on the reading outcomes of middle school students experiencing reading difficulties

Gregory J. Benner, J. Ron Nelson, Scott A. Stage, Nicole C. Ralston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which two specific elements of fidelity of implementation (i.e., adherence and quality of delivery) enhanced or constrained the effects of a reading intervention for middle school students experiencing reading difficulties. A total of 281 middle school students with reading difficulties received an intensive reading intervention (i.e., Corrective Reading Decoding strand) delivered by trained school staff (n = 21) at three middle schools. Although students receiving the Corrective Reading Decoding strand made statistically significant (p <.001) improvements in their basic reading skills and passage comprehension overall, variations in student gains were found. Overall fidelity of implementation accounted for 22% and 18% of the variance in the gains in basic reading skills and passage comprehension of middle school students with reading difficulties, respectively (p <.05). Two teacher actions, following the lesson format as designed and reteaching lessons when needed, predicted student basic reading and passage comprehension skills above and beyond other teacher actions (p <.05). Results, implications, and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011



  • adolescent literacy
  • direct instruction
  • instructional fidelity
  • reading achievement
  • reading achievement gap
  • remedial reading
  • response to intervention
  • striving readers
  • treatment fidelity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this