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Boston College School of Social Work

Kimberly H. McManama O'Brien

Kimberly O'Brien

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


BA, Harvard University; MSW, Boston College; PhD, Boston College

Doctoral Graduation Date


Current Position

Assistant Professor, Simmons School of Social Work

Research Interests

Intervention development for suicidal and/or substance abusing adolescents

Organization Affiliations

Children's Hospital Boston – Emergency Psychiatry Department, American Association of Suicidology, Harvard University – Alumni interviewer and Radcliffe Mentor Program

Dissertation Title

Examining the impact of psychopathological comorbidity on the medical lethality of adolescent suicide attempts

Awards and Fellowships

Brown University Medical School Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies; Dr. Carolyn B. Thomas Fellowship for Doctoral Studies in Social Work; Boston College Doctoral Fellowship in Social Work; Straussner/Journal of Social Work Practice in Addictions, Doctoral Dissertation Award, Honorable Mention


Kelly, M.S., Berzin, S.C., Frey, A.J., Alvarez, M.E., Shaffer, G.L., & O'Brien, K. (2010). The state of school social work: Findings from the National School Social Work Survey. School Mental Health, 2(3), 132-141.

Kelly, M.S., Alvarez, M.E., Frey, A.J., Berzin, S.C., Shaffer, G.L., & O'Brien, K. (2010). Current trends in school social work: Practice choices and Response to Intervention. Children & Schools, 32(4), 193-256.

O'Brien, K., Berzin, S.C., Kelly, M.S., Frey, A.J., Alvarez, M.E., & Shaffer, G.L. (2011). School Social Work with Students with Mental Health Problems: Examining Different Practice Approaches. Children & Schools, 33(2), 97-105.

Berzin, S.C., O'Brien, K., Frey, A.J., Kelly, M.S., Alvarez, M.E., & Shaffer, G.L. (2011). Meeting the social and behavioral health needs of students: Rethinking the relationship between teachers and school social workers. Journal of School Health, 81(8), 493-501.

Berzin, S.C., O'Brien, K., & Tohn, S. (2012). Working on What Works: A new model for collaboration. School Social Work Journal. 36(2), 15-26.

O'Brien, K. & Berzin, S.C. (2012). Examining the impact of psychiatric diagnosis and comorbidity on the medical lethality of adolescent suicide attempts. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 42(4), 349-359.

O'Brien, K. (2013). Rethinking adolescent inpatient psychiatric care: The importance of integrated interventions for suicidal youth with substance use problems. Social Work in Mental Health, 11(4), 349-359.

O'Brien, K., Becker, S.J., Spirito, A., Simon, V., & Prinstein, M.J. (2013). Differentiating adolescent suicide attempters from ideators: Examining the interaction between depression severity and alcohol use. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, doi:10.1111/sltb.12050