Mairead Eastin Moloney

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Gender & Women's Studies
  • Health, Society and Populations
  • Sociology
1527 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:

I received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. Subsequently, I held postdoctoral fellowships in both research (2009-2011, Program on Integrative Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and teaching (2011-2013, Department of Sociology at North Carolina State University).

In 2014, I joined the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. I also serve as faculty for the Health, Society, and Populations major in the College of Arts and Sciences


I believe that the most impactful sociological research occurs when social problems are viewed through multiple lenses. I seek to gain greater insight into social issues at the macro and micro levels using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodological approaches to produce theoretically-grounded work that has real-life impacts. My dissertation research on the medicalization of sleeplessness focused on the creation of medical problems from life issues, via the patient-physician interaction. The quantitative results of my study were published in the American Journal of Public Health, and a qualitative companion piece was recently published in Sociology of Health and Illness

In January of 2017, I became  BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women's Health) Scholar. Supported by the BIRCWH program and my mentors, I aim to build and expand upon my sleeplessness research by examining the linkages between gendered social stressors and sleep. My goal is to adapt an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral insomnia intervention for Appalachian women ages 45+ in order to reduce health disparities resulting from insomnia and/or sedative hypnotic use (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.). This project requires collaboration with local health institutions and community health workers, and I will build on my previous experiences in creating and sustaining these vital of partnerships. I will also utilize my experiences in constructing culturally-consonant research questions for populations with varying levels of health literacy. 

I am also interested in how various forms of gender socialization impact mental and physical health. I have studied sexualization, a particularly negative form of gender socialization, and created a relevant pedagogical module for undergraduates. An article on this module was published in Teaching Sociology. This work has both theoretical and practical applications for social scientists, educators, and community leaders, and led to an interview on Kentucky Educational Television. I have continued to explore the sexualization and oppressions of women in the context of online social spaces. With my colleague Tony Love, I analyzed publicly available data from Twitter (an online social networking service) to track real-time reactions to the widely publicized celebrity nude photo hacking of 2014 (“The Fappening”). Findings from nearly 10,000 Tweets revealed that male-identified Tweeters commonly sexualized and degraded both celebrity and non-celebrity women. The results of our study are forthcoming in Men and Masculinities​ and a piece on our unique methodology is forthcoming in SAGE Research Methods Cases

Selected Publications: 

Mairead E. Moloney, Robyn Lewis Brown, Gabriele Ciciurkaite and Susan Foley. (Forthcoming.) “‘Going the Extra Mile’: Experiences of Stigma Management among Working Women with Disabilities.” Deviant Behavior.

Brown, Robyn Lewis, Mairead E. Moloney and Jordan Brown. (Forthcoming). "Gender Differences in the Processes Linking Public Stigma and Self-Disclosure among College Students With Mental Illness." Journal of Community Psychology

Tony P. Love, Mairead E. Moloney and Amanda M. Bunting.* (Forthcoming). “Analyzing Virtual Manhood: Qualitative Analysis of Fappening-Related Twitter Data.” SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Brown, Robyn Lewis, Gabriele Ciciurkaite and Mairead E. Moloney. (Forthcoming). “The Effects of Job Autonomy and Creativity on Psychological Distress among People with Physical Disabilities: Gender Disparities.” Research in Social Science and Disability.

Moloney, Mairead E. and Tony P. Love. 2017. “#TheFappening: Virtual Manhood Acts in(Homo)Social Media.” Men and Masculinities. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X17696170

Moloney, Mairead E. 2016. “’Sometimes, it’s Easier to Write the Prescription’: Physician and Patient Accounts of the Reluctant Medicalisation of Sleeplessness.” Sociology of Health and Illness (Early View Online: DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12485). 

Moloney, Mairead E. 2016. "Bitten: A Patient with Tickborne Disease Struggles to Find the Right Provider." Health Affairs 35(1)169-73.

Moloney, Mairead E. and Lisa J. Pelehach. 2014. “’You’re Not Good Enough’: Teaching Undergraduate Students about the Sexualization of Girls and Women.” Teaching Sociology 42(2):119-129.

Moloney, Mairead E., Thomas R. Konrad, and Catherine R. Zimmer. 2011. “The Medicalization of Sleeplessness: A Public Health Concern.” American Journal of Public Health 101(8):1429-33.

Bussey-Jones, Jada, Joanne Garret, Gail Henderson, Mairead E. Moloney, Connie Blumenthal, and Giselle Corbie-Smith. 2010. “The Role of Race and Trust in Tissue/Blood Donation for Genetic Research.” Genetics in Medicine 12(2):116-21.

Bussey-Jones, Jada, Gail Henderson, Joanne Garret, Mairead E. Moloney, Connie Blumenthal, and Giselle Corbie-Smith. 2009. “Asking the Right Questions: Views on Genetic Variation Research Among Participants in a Colorectal Cancer Genetic Epidemiology Study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 24(3):299-304.

Corbie-Smith, Giselle, Connie Blumenthal, Gail Henderson, Joanne Garrett, Jada Bussey-Jones, Mairead E. Moloney, Robert S. Sandler, Stacey W. Lloyd, Jessica Dorrance, and Jane Darter. 2008. “Studying Genetic Research Participants: Lessons from the ‘Learning About Research in North Carolina’ Study.” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 17(8):2019-24.

Henderson, Gail, Joanne Garrett, Jada Bussey-Jones, Mairead E. Moloney, Connie Blumenthal, and Giselle Corbie-Smith. 2008. “Great Expectations: Views of Genetic Research Participants Regarding Current and Future Studies.” Genetics in Medicine 10(3):193-200.

Kurzman, Charles, Chelise Anderson, Clinton Key, Youn Ok Lee, Mairead Moloney, Alexis Silver, Maria Van Ryn. 2007. “Celebrity Status.” Sociological Theory 25(4):347-67.

Schuster, Jennifer L., Jaimie Ciulla Timmons, Mairead Moloney. 2003. “Barriers to Successful Transition for Young Adults Who Receive SSI and Their Families.” Career Development for Exceptional Individuals 26:47-66.

Whitney-Thomas, Jean and Mairead Moloney. 2001. “’Who I Am And What I Want’: Adolescents’ Self-Definition and Struggles.” Exceptional Children 67(3):375-89.

Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected