Olivia Kirtley

Institution: Center for Contextual Psychiatry, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Current research: I am broadly interested in the roles of pain and emotion regulation in psychological distress, and specifically in self-harm and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Currently, I am leading SIGMA, a large-scale, longitudinal study of adolescent mental health and development, using experience sampling methods (ESM). My work uses ESM to assess dynamic daily fluctuations in people’s behaviour and psychological experiences, to better understand the factors involved in suicidal thoughts being translated into suicide attempts. Ongoing research includes projects on adolescent self-harm, chronic pain and suicide, and implementing Open Science practices in ESM and suicide research.

Research interests:

  • Future orientation
  • Exposure
  • Pain
  • Emotion regulation
  • Theoretical models of suicide
  • Experience sampling method
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Adolescents

Recent Publications:

  • Kirtley, O.J., Melson, A. J., & O’Connor, R. C. (In Press). Future Oriented Constructs: Their role in suicide ideation and enactment. In Hirsch, J., Chang, E., & Rabon, J. (Eds). A Positive Psychological Approach to Suicide: Theory, Research and Prevention. New York: Springer.
  • O’Connor, R. C., & Kirtley, O. J. (2018). The Integrated Motivational-Volitional Model of Suicidal Behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
  • Kirtley, O. J., O’Carroll, R. E., & O’Connor, R. C. (2016). Pain and self-harm: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 203, 347-363.
  • Kirtley, O. J., O’Carroll, R. E., & O’Connor, R. C. (2015). Hurting inside and out: The relationship between emotional and physical pain in self-harm ideation and enactment.  International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 8(2), 156-171.
  • Kirtley, O. J., O’Carroll, R. E., & O’Connor, R. C. (2015). The role of endogenous opioids in nonsuicidal self-injury: methodological challenges. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 48, 186-189.

Can help with: I can help out with expertise in Experience sampling methods (ESM)/Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) research, pain psychophysiology, clinical and general population adult research, general population and school based adolescent research, and systematic reviews. I am currently learning R, JASP and JAMOVI. I can also help out with questions around the PhD to postdoc transition, moving abroad for postdoc positions, applications for study visits abroad.

What’s essential to your well-being? Spending time with my family and friends, pretty much everything to do with food and cooking, being outdoors, listening to and playing music and very importantly, having wonderful colleagues with whom I can share the highs and lows of academic life.

Find Olivia elsewhere:

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