Developmentally Appropriate Evaluations: How Evaluation Practices Differ Across Age of Participants

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Tiffany Berry

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Tarek Azzam

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2017 Dana L. Wanzer


evaluation, research on evaluation, developmental sensitivity, developmentally appropriate, youth evaluation

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


It is well-known that meaningful differences in development exist among children, adolescents, and adults. However, to what extent do evaluators adapt their approach, designs, and methods to be responsive to a youth population? This study used an experimental simulation in which practicing evaluators designed an evaluation of a hypothetical tutoring program and were randomly assigned to the program serving children, adolescents, or young adults. Results indicate that evaluators were less likely to be participatory—both in the evaluation overall and in data collection—when the participants of the program were children than when they were adults. These findings suggest that evaluators, even those with experience conducting evaluations of youth programs, do not consider age as a meaningful cultural context and may need additional training in conducting developmentally appropriate evaluations.