Sarah Smith

Phone: (603) 862-2463
Office: Occupational Therapy, Hewitt Hall Room 119, Durham, NH 03824
Sarah L. Smith, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Dr. Sarah L. Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of New Hampshire in the College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Smith is a pediatric occupational therapist with over 20 years experience practicing in school and outpatient settings. Her teaching and research is rooted in her work with children and families and the need to provide services that not only support individual children but services that also prioritize family engagement in everyday meaningful family activities which can become lost in the centralization of services around the child.

Dr. Smith is the director of the UNH Healthy Families Research Program. Dr. Smith examines the specific factors and processes that promote strong family health, as well as the relationship between everyday family activities and family health in order to ultimately inform effective family health interventions. Promoting family engagement in everyday routines and activities toward strong family health and wellness is the heart of the Healthy Families Research Program.


  • D.Sc., Rehabilitation Science, University of Oklahoma
  • B.S., Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University

Research Interests

  • Autism
  • Family
  • Pediatrics/Paediatrics
  • Rehabilitation/Therapy, Occupation/Vocation

Courses Taught

  • OT 610: Occupatn, Identity, Disability
  • OT 710: OT Practice Professional Roles
  • OT 710/810: OT Practice Professional Roles
  • OT 762/862: OT Eval & Interv for Children
  • OT 762L: OT Eval & InterforChildren Lab
  • OT 785: Research Methods
  • OT 785/885: Research Methods
  • OT 791: Senior Honors Thesis
  • OT 862: OT Eval &Intervention Children
  • OT 862L: OT Eval&Intervention Child Lab
  • OT 886: Engagement in Research
  • OT 893: Spc Top/OT in Schools

Selected Publications

Smith, S. L., & McQuade, H. B. (2021). Exploring the health of families with a child with autism. AUTISM. doi:10.1177/1362361320986354

Belarmino, J. A. S., Smith, S. L., & Jewell, V. D. (2020). Extent of Use and Linkage of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to Frames of Reference and Interventions in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. Annals of International Occupational Therapy, 3(2), 69-77. doi:10.3928/24761222-20191125-01

Smith, S., Ramey, E., Sisson, S., Richardson, S., & DeGrace, B. (2019). The family meal model: Influences on family mealtime participation. OTJR Occupation, Participation and Health, 40(2), 138-146. doi:10.1177/1539449219876878

Watson, M. A., Jewell, V. D., & Smith, S. L. (2018). Journey Interrupted: A Phenomenological Exploration of Miscarriage. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6(3). doi:10.15453/2168-6408.1439

Villasenor, R. F., Smith, S. L., & Jewell, V. D. (2018). A systematic review of sound-based intervention programs to improve participation in education for children with sensory processing and integration challenges. JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SCHOOLS AND EARLY INTERVENTION, 11(2), 172-191. doi:10.1080/19411243.2018.1432444

Smith, S. L., DeGrace, B., Ciro, C., Bax, A., Hambrick, A., James, J., & Evans, A. (2017). Exploring families' experiences of health: contributions to a model of family health.. Psychol Health Med, 22(10), 1239-1247. doi:10.1080/13548506.2017.1319069

Most Cited Publications