Faculty Associate

April Smith

April Smith, Associate Professor
Department of Psychology

Office: Psychology Building 100
aprilsmith@miamioh.edu

The ultimate goal of my research program is to reduce suicide-related morbidity and mortality, particularly among individuals with eating disorders. My most recent work, which includes a meta-analysis (Smith et al., in press; Smith et al., in press), examines whether eating disorders are longitudinal predictors of suicidality. This work highlights the crucial need for methodologically rigorous research to more conclusively determine the nature of the association between eating disorders and suicidality, as well as the timing of the mortality risk. My work also investigates factors that may make individuals susceptible to both disordered eating and suicidal behavior—such as interoceptive deficits. Interoception refers to being aware of emotional and physical sensations in the body (e.g., hunger, cold, heart rate, anxiety). People with interoceptive deficits are literally “out of touch” with their bodies. This disconnect from the body may facilitate self-injury. Our research supports this supposition, and suggests that interoceptive deficits not only differentiate those who think about suicide from those who engage in suicidal behavior, but may also provide information about who is at imminent risk for suicidal behavior (Forest et al., 2015; Smith et al., 2017). Finally, I am very interested in translating my research to intervention platforms that are inexpensive and widely accessible. To that end I am working to develop accessible (i.e., computer and smartphone based) interventions for disordered eating. https://miamioh.edu/cas/academics/departments/psychology/about/faculty-staff/smith-april/

Curriculum Vitae