Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Kristen Chesser


Quality mental health services for adolescents continues to be in high demand across the United States regardless of the adolescent’s background. Adolescents in rural, urban, high-income, and low-income regions are all showing increased signs of depression and other mental illness. This study examined the quality of mental health services for adolescents by comparing four behavioral health organizations in the United States that offer treatment for adolescents in an outpatient setting. The study used the Baldrige Framework of Excellence to examine specific areas within each organization. A qualitative case study design allowed for descriptions of the organizations and similarities and differences to be examined. Data were obtained from secondary and public sources. The principal activities in the analytical approach included analyzing each organization’s service offerings, connecting mission statements to the services provided, and reviewing leadership and governance activities. The study findings showed each organization has its unique policies and procedures, all four have three similar values: engaging the client, working with their specific community, and focusing on the clients' individual needs, all of which were found to help change clients’ behaviors and desires to continue attending treatment. Behavioral health organizations may use the study results to determine how they can improve their services to help communities better serve adolescents who need behavioral health services. Positive social change implications for behavioral health organizations, integrated care facilities, and the community are discussed.