About Ellen O'Donnell, PhD

Dr. O'Donnell is an Associate Psychologist at MGH and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School (HMS).  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Clark University where she received the Monte Bliss Fellowship and was a Rosenblum Fellow in Public Policy at the Mass. Psych. Assn. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in child clinical psychology at MGH/ HMS and has been affiliated with the hospital since 2006.

Dr. O'Donnell is the psychologist in the MGHfC Pediatric Diabetes Center, providing behavioral health interventions to patients and families. As part of the pediatric behavioral medicine program, she is working to expand training in pediatric psychology in diabetes. She also consults to diabetes organizations JDRF New England, ADA, The College Diabetes Network, and diabetes camps Clara Barton and Camp Joslin.

Dr. O'Donnell also specializes in neuropsychological assessment and in working with children and adolescents affected by both medical illness and developmental or learning disabilities. She is the neuropsychologist for the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinic and collaborates on patient centered research in Pediatric MS. Her research interests include better understanding the impact of learning disabilities such as ADHD on the management of pediatric chronic illness. 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 learning disabilities in pediatric populations and on a parent guidance model for parenting with chronic illness.

Since 2016, Dr. O'Donnell has also been the Director of Clinical Psychology Services at Shriners Hospital for Children, Boston as part of a collaboration between Shriners and the MGH Child Psychiatry Consult Service.

Learn more about Dr. O'Donnell


Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Fax: 617-726-5567

Shriners Hospital for Children Boston
51 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114

Medical Education

  • PhD, Clark University
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Dr. O'Donnell is 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.


  • Selected Publications:

    Charvet, LE, O'Donnell, EH, Belman, AL, Chitnis, T, Ness, JM, Parrish, J, Patterson, M, Rodrigues, E, Waubant, E, Weinstock-Guttman, B, & Krupp, LB. Longitudinal Evaluation of Cognitive Functioning in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis: Report from the US Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Network. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2014.

    O'Donnell, EH, Eddy, K., & Rauch, P. (2013) Parenting with chronic and life threatening illness: a parent guidance model, in Working with Families in Medical Settings: A Multidisciplinary Guide for Psychiatrists and Other Health Professionals edited by E Arzubi & E Mambrino. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

    Braaten EB,
    O?Donnell E. (2010)  Neuropsychology and pediatrics, in
    A Practical Guide to Neuropsychological Testing for Patients, Practitioners, and Other Professionals edited by E Arzubi & E Mambrino.  New York, NY: Springer Publishing.