Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. Barry A. Garst, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Denise Anderson

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Bixler

Committee Member

Dr. Tracy Maineri

Committee Member

Dr. Dewayne Moore


Within Leisure, Experiential Education, and Recreation (LER) research, there is a shift to evidence-based practices (EBP) in program design and assessment, reflecting the transition to EBPs within the prevention, health, and social sciences. However, one area that still lacks conceptual development and application within LER relates to how programs are implemented. This study contributes both to LER and the broader social sciences by examining the multiple dimensions of implementation within residential summer camp. First, this study reviews the macro level factors that contribute to or inhibit implementation quality. Second, this study examines the factors that promote implementation quality at the facilitator level through the production of a conceptual framework and corresponding characteristic, trait, and behavior measurement recommendations. Third, this study introduces Situational Judgement Testing as a method to predict implementation quality through a content analysis of Subject Matter Experts' responses to scenarios reflecting the LER programming context. Fourth, this study evaluates a Multi-Level Model to explore relationships among facilitator traits, behaviors, and characteristics with implementation quality, related sub-domains of implementation quality, and parent perceptions of program outcomes. The study findings: (a) demonstrate partial support for contemporary implementation research findings in an underexamined context, LER, (b) provide researchers and practitioners with actionable guidelines for future implementation investigations, and (c) establish a platform for research regarding the necessity of implementation assessment within the LER sciences.