Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Carey

Third Advisor

Dr. Nicolaou

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield


The purpose of this study was to determine the nature of the relationship between treatment team interpersonal communication and staff to client relationships in a residential treatment setting. Through the use of the Staff Environmental Survey and the Youth Environmental Survey, questions pertaining to treatment team interpersonal communication were correlated to questions pertaining to staff to client relationships.

The subjects utilized for the study were the staff and clients of The Starr Commonwealth Schools' residential treatment program located in Albion, Michigan.

The responses of subjects from 14 treatment teams were correlated to the responses of subjects from 14 groups of clients. Spearman rank order correlations were calculated to investigate the relationship between treatment team interpersonal communication and staff to client relationships.

The findings revealed that a relationship did exist between these two variables. Treatment team interpersonal communication was related to eight staff to client relationship factors.

The recommendations made, as a result of the findings, included practical applications as well as research implications. From a practical perspective, administrators of residential programs were encouraged to develop those organizational attributes which encourage treatment personnel to promote effective communication and strong relationships among staff and clients. From a research perspective, several recommendations for further study of these factors were suggested. Included among these was the recommendation for replications of this study in other residential treatment programs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access