Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a woman with shoulder length blond hair
Occupational Therapy
Phone: (603) 862-2463
Office: Occupational Therapy, Hewitt Hall Room 119, Durham, NH 03824

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. 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 inform effective family supports. Promoting family engagement in everyday routines and activities toward strong family health and wellness is the heart of the Healthy Families Research Program.

Courses Taught

  • OT 610: Occupatn, Identity, Disability
  • OT 695: Independent Study
  • OT 710: OT Practice Professional Roles
  • OT 762: OT Eval & Interv for Children
  • OT 762/862: OT Eval & Interv for Children
  • OT 762L: OT Eval & InterforChildren Lab
  • OT 762R: OT Eval & Inter Children-Recit
  • OT 785: Research Methods
  • OT 791: Senior Honors Thesis
  • OT 810: OT Practice Professional Roles
  • OT 862: OT Eval &Intervention Children
  • OT 862L: OT Eval&Intervention Child Lab
  • OT 862R: OT Eval&Intervention Child Rec
  • OT 886: Engagement in Research
  • OT 893: Spc Top/OT in Schools


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

Research Interests

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

Selected Publications

  • Smith, S. L., Vaquerano, J., Humphreys, B. P., & Aytur, S. A. (2023). Parent Satisfaction With a Telehealth Parent Coaching Intervention to Support Family Participation.. OTJR (Thorofare N J), 15394492231164942. doi:10.1177/15394492231164942

  • Smith, S., Aytur, S., & Humphreys, E. (2022). Effects of telehealth parent coaching in supporting family participation, cohesion, and adaptability. OTJR Occupation, Participation and Health. doi:10.1177/15394492221083664

  • Preble, E. B., & Smith, S. L. (2021). Understanding Caregiver Experiences: Examining the Transition Out of the Educational System for ChildrenWith Cognitive Disabilities. In AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Vol. 75. doi:10.5014/ajot.2021.75S2-PO100

  • Smith, S. L., & McQuade, H. B. (2021). Exploring the health of families with a child with autism. AUTISM, 25(5), 1203-1215. 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