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Dr. Ellen O'Donnell is a Staff Psychologist in the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) and the Outpatient Child Psychiatry Dept. at Mass. General Hospital for Children. She is an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. O'Donnell graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors from Boston College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Clark University where she received the Monte Bliss Fellowship in Child Psychology and was a Rosenblum Fellow in Public Policy at the Mass. Psychological Assn. Dr. O'Donnell completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in child clinical psychology at Mass. General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. Dr. O'Donnell specializes in neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with learning, emotional, and behavioral concerns. She has a particular interest in working with children and adolescents affected by both medical illness and developmental or learning disabilities. In addition to assessment, she provides outpatient therapy to patients with chronic medical illness using a cognitive behavioral/ behavioral medicine approach. Dr. O'Donnell consults to the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic and the MGHfC Diabetes Clinic. She was previously a member of the Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT) team, helping parents to talk about their cancer with their children.Dr. O'Donnell's research interests are in developing interventions for children affected by both medical illness and learning disabilities and in positive parenting practices to protect them. Dr. O'Donnell's work has been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence and Multiple Sclerosis Journal. She has co-authored chapters on neuropsychological assessment in pediatric populations and on a parent guidance model for parenting with chronic illness.
Dr. O'Donnell is currently the neuropsychologist for the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center at MGHfC. She conducts research on the neuropsychological effects of MS in collaboration with five other centers of excellence across the country funded in part by the National MS Society.
Much of her research has focused on the impact of parenting styles on children's motivation, cognitive style, and emotional well-being.
Dr. O'Donnell is particularly interested in the well-being and adjustment of children with executive function deficits like those associated with ADHD who are affected by pediatric or family illness.
She is currently conducting research on the impact of problems with executive function on adolescents' adherence to diabetes self-care.
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