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Photo of Smith, Ariel

Ariel Smith

Affiliate Scholar

Population Health Nursing Science


Ariel Smith, PhD, RN is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Population Health Nursing Science, College of Nursing, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her BSN and PhD in Nursing from the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Smith’s program of research builds on (1) findings from her dissertation which examined bullying, dating violence and suicidality among bisexual adolescents; (2) her current interdisciplinary research which targets cultural, and psychological factors that contribute to and improve mental health disparities of sexual minority adolescents; and (3) her growing interest in game-based learning and digital health research. She is interested in employing the theory of intersectionality to develop digital interventions that reduce both teen dating violence and negative mental health outcomes (i.e. depression, suicidality) of minority youth. Her current research and career objectives are to utilize training opportunities afforded to her at UIC to address gaps in her doctoral and postdoctoral training and to develop and implement evidence-based interventions to reduce data violence among sexual minority youth. She has experience collecting primary data using a community sample of youth in South Florida and employed a secondary analysis to examine the impact of intersectional, minority identities (race, biological sex, sexual orientation) on bullying, dating violence, and suicide risk among youth within the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey. As a postdoctoral fellow, she is committed to collecting primary data and building the community partnerships necessary to recruit and retain sexual minority youth in research programs throughout Chicago. Her long-term goal is to develop and utilize digital tools to eliminate health disparities relating to dating violence and negative mental health outcomes (i.e. depression, suicidality) among minority youth.