Heather Davis

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Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Office Address
319 Williams Hall
Curriculum Vitae
Short Bio
Dr. Heather Davis (she/her/hers) conducts research to address questions regarding the risk for and consequences of disordered eating and related psychopathology. In particular, Dr. Davis is interested in the experience of shame in the context of eating disorders, and the potential for shame to serve as a transdiagnostic mechanism underlying comorbidity between eating disorders and comorbid problems, such as alcohol use, depression, anxiety, and self-harm. She uses multiple methods to test questions related to this aim, including laboratory, longitudinal, and ecological momentary assessment designs. Dr. Davis also focuses on the study of groups at high risk for disordered eating, but underrepresented in the eating disorders research literature. She is currently conducting research investigating shame and disordered eating among individuals experiencing food insecurity. Dr. Davis’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) in the National Institutes of Health, the Lipman Foundation, and the Philanthropic Educational Organization.

Dr. Davis will be accepting a graduate student for the 2023-2024 academic year. Students interested in working with Dr. Davis can indicate any of the Clinical Science concentration areas (child, adult, health) on their application, as Dr. Davis conducts research across the lifespan and in healthcare and non-healthcare settings.

Select Publications
  • *Denotes mentee coauthor

  • Davis, H. A., Keel, P. K., Tangney, J., & Smith, G. T. (in press). Increases in shame following binge eating: Laboratory and longitudinal findings. Appetite.

  • Davis, H. A., *Rush, M., & Smith, G. T. (in press). Reciprocal relations between body image disturbance and driven exercise. Journal of American College Health

  • Atkinson, E. A., Peterson, S. J., Riley, E. N., Davis, H. A., & Smith, G. T. (2021). How people experience and respond to their distress predicts problem drinking more than does the amount of distress. Addictive Behaviors, 120, 106959.

  • Peterson, S. J., Atkinson, E. A., Riley, E. N., Davis, H. A., & Smith, G. T. (2021). Affect-based problem drinking risk: The reciprocal relationship between affective lability and problem drinking. Alcohol & Alchoholism, 56(6), 746-753.

  • *Ortiz, A. M. L., Davis, H. A., Riley, E. N., & Smith, G. T. (2021). Transactions between affective lability and eating expectancies predicting binge eating. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, 1-14.

  • Davis, H. A., Graham, A. K., & Wildes, J. E. (2020). Overview of binge eating disorder. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports , 14(12), 1-10.

  • Davis, H. A., Smith, G. T., & Keel, P. K. (2020). An examination of negative urgency and other impulsigenic traits in purging disorder. Eating Behaviors. 36, 101365.

  • Smith, G. T., Atkinson, E. A., Davis, H. A., Riley, E. N., & Oltmanns, J. R. (2020). The general factor of psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 16 (1), 75-98.

  • Davis, H. A., *Ortiz, A. M. L, & Smith, G. T. (2019). Transactions between early binge eating and personality predict transdiagnostic risk. European Eating Disorders Review, 27(6), 614-627.

  • *Ortiz, A. M. L., Davis, H. A., & Smith, G. T. (2019). Transactions between thinness expectancies and depression in the prediction of adolescent weight control behaviors. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 52(2), 142-152.

  • Riley, E. N., Davis, H. A., Milich, R., & Smith, G. T. (2018). Heavy, problematic college drinking predicts increases in impulsivity. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79(5), 790-798.

  • Kaiser, A. J., Davis, H. A., Milich, R., Smith, G. T., & Charnigo, R. (2018). Bidirectional relations of impulsive personality and alcohol use over two years. Substance Use & Misuse, 53(14), 2386-2393.

  • Davis, H. A. & Smith, G. T. (2018). An integrative model of risk for high school disordered eating. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(6), 559-570.

  • *Peterson, S. J., Davis, H. A., & Smith, G. T. (2018). Personality and learning predictors of adolescent alcohol consumption trajectories. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(5), 482-495.

  • Davis, H. A., *Ortiz, A. M. L. & Smith G. T. (2018). The occurrence and covariation of binge eating and compensatory behaviors across early to mid-adolescence. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43(1), 402-412.

  • Lee, C. L., Derefinko, K. J., Davis, H. A., Milich, R. & Lynam, D. R. (2017). Cross-lagged relations between motives and substance use: Can use strengthen your motivation over time? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 178, 544-550

  • Davis, H. A., Riley, E. N., Smith, G. T., Milich, R. & Burris, J. (2017). Alcohol use and strenuous physical activity in college students: A longitudinal test of two explanatory models of health behavior. Journal of American College Health, 65(2), 112-121.

  • Davis, H. A., Guller, L., & Smith, G. T. (2016). Developmental trajectories of compensatory exercise and fasting behavior across the middle school years. Appetite, 107, 330-338.

  • Davis, H. A., Guller, L., & Smith, G. T. (2016). Developmental trajectories of boys’ driven exercise and fasting during the middle school years. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(7), 1309-1319.

  • Riley, E. N., Davis, H. A., Combs, J. L., Jordan, C. E., & Smith, G. T. (2015). Nonsuicidal self-injury as a risk factor for purging onset: Negatively reinforced behaviours that reduce emotional distress. European Eating Disorders Review, 24(1), 78-82.

  • Smith, G. T., & Davis, H. A. (2015). An exemplar of progress on understanding complex disorders: Commentary on what we have learned about eating disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(11), 1165-1167.

  • Pearson, C. M., Riley, E. N., Davis, H. A., & Smith, G. T. (2014). Research review: Two pathways toward impulsive action: an integrative risk model for bulimic behavior in youth. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55(8), 852-864.

  • Davis, H. A., Holland, L.A., & Keel, P.K. (2014). A preliminary examination of a nonpurging compensatory eating disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47(3), 239-243

  • Smith, A.R., Fink, E. L., Anestis, M. D., Ribeiro, J., Gordon, K. H., Davis, H. A., Keel, P. K., Bardone-Cone, A. M., Peterson, C. M., Klein, M. H., Crow, S., Mitchell, J. E., Crosby, R. D., Wonderlich, S. A., le Grange, D., & Joiner, T. E. (2013). Exercise caution: Over-exercise is associated with suicidality in bulimia nervosa. Psychiatry Research, 26, 246-255
  • T32 Postdoctoral fellowship in Eating Disorders Research, University of Chicago (2021)
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Kentucky (2020)
  • B.S. in Psychology, Florida State University (2012)