Durbin, Nicholas Jeremy (2010)
Ed.Psych.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This research explores professional contributions and learning in a multidisciplinary team whose purpose is to promote mental health and psychological well being in children within family and community settings. It brings together three current priorities of policy and practice, namely, promoting mental health and psychological wellbeing in children and young people, multidisciplinary teamwork, and professional learning and development. The study examined a multidisciplinary child behaviour team of educational psychologists, family support workers and primary mental health workers working within a culturally diverse urban community. Activity theory was used as a theoretical framework and methodology to examine the sociocultural processes involved in multidisciplinary work. Individual interviews, focus group discussion and developmental work research were employed to identify and compare activity systems, and to surface and then work on contradictions. The exploratory findings arising from the analysis of the activity systems are discussed against the cultural and historical background of professional and multidisciplinary work. The implications for professional practice, multidisciplinary work and future research are also considered. Conclusions drawn emphasise the complex multilayered nature of professionals’ work within multidisciplinary teams and the value of sociocultural activity theory as a method for analysing work and promoting learning in multidisciplinary teams.
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