Unraveling the role of client-professional communication in adolescent psychosocial care

Margot Jager

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    2181 Downloads (Pure)


    Client-centered communication is crucial for high quality psychosocial care for adolescents

    This thesis emphasizes the importance of client-centered communication in psychosocial care for adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. Client-centered communication means that care professionals tailor their communication to the needs of individual clients. Adolescents and their parents have different communication needs and when these are not met by care professionals, this negatively influences outcomes of care. Adolescents whose communication experiences do not match their needs, participate less and learn less, and their problems are less reduced than those of adolescents whose experiences do match their needs. This thesis also shows that care professionals use specific and goal-oriented communication strategies. To enforce positive client behavior, for example, they may use a specific communication strategy in which they combine a compliment with an account for giving the compliment. Furthermore, care professionals have different strategies to handle ‘I do not know’ – responses of adolescents. This type of response is described in professional handbooks as non-cooperative behavior that should be avoided. Care professionals, however, also respond in other ways. Sometimes they even use it as a starting point for a therapeutic intervention, to collaboratively come from a state of ‘not knowing’ to a state of ‘knowing’. The findings of this study have implications for practice, education and policy. Communication that is better tailored to the client appears to be associated with more positive outcomes in psychosocial care for adolescents. This offers opportunities to improve the quality of care for a vulnerable group of young people.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Reijneveld, Menno, Supervisor
    • Knorth, Erik, Supervisor
    • de Winter, Andrea, Co-supervisor
    • Metselaar, Janneke, Co-supervisor
    Award date24-Feb-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8515-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8514-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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