Olivia Friedman, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Martha B. Straus, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Barbara Belcher-Timme, PsyD, Committee Member
  • George Tremblay, PhD, Committee Member


interdisciplinary teams, mental health counselors, barriers to team functioning, communication, collaboration, long-term inpatient adolescent psychiatric hospitals

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This dissertation explored interdisciplinary team functioning on a long-term adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit. It compared staff perceptions (MHCs, clinicians, and nurses) of interdisciplinary coherence and unit effectiveness. This study was particularly focused on understanding MHCs perceptions of team functioning and how satisfied team members are with their level of input and involvement in team decision-making. Additionally, this study explored possible barriers to effective team functioning in this setting. Eighty-four participants in this study completed the Interdisciplinary Team Process and Performance Survey (ITPPS) to assess perceptions of team functioning. Participants answered additional questions assessing barriers to communication and collaboration and levels of satisfaction with their input in the team’s decision-making process. A one-way ANOVA was conducted to compare perceptions of team cohesion and team effectiveness across occupations. Results suggest that there is a significant difference among the three occupational groups regarding their perceptions of how their team functions, with MHCs having more negative perceptions of team processes than nurses and clinicians. This team ranked the three highest barriers to communication and collaboration: (a) Differences in accountability, payment, and rewards; (b) Hierarchy; and (c) Lack of training for MHCs. Regarding levels of satisfaction, results showed that MHCs reported the lowest levels of satisfaction, while clinicians rated the highest levels of satisfaction. With these findings, recommendations were made for ways in which long-term inpatient adolescent psychiatric hospitals can work to improve their interdisciplinary team functioning to increase job satisfaction and improve patient care.


Olivia Friedman

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-8999-4851