Mairead Eastin Moloney

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Health, Society and Populations
  • Sociology
  • Gender and Women's Studies
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 affiliate faculty for the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, the Center for Health Equity Transformation, and the Health, Society, and Populations major.


I strive to reduce health disparities in Appalachia. Broadly speaking, I partner with community-based researchers to identify community health concerns and perspectives on intervention. Specifically, I engage in research and interventions aimed at reducing rates of: a) preterm birth and b) insomnia, in Appalachian women. Both issues are public health concerns that occur at higher-than-average rates in this population. 

In 2018 I co-wrote a successful grant application for the UK CCTS Junior Investigator Pilot Award with Dr. Niraj Chavan (Principal Investigator). Our project, “Implementation of a Transvaginal Ultrasound Surveillance Program in Women with a History of Previous Preterm Birth: Disseminating Evidence Based Practices for Reducing Preterm Birth in Appalachian Kentucky” aims to design and pilot a program of transvaginal ultrasound education to prevent rural, preterm birth. As Qualitative Consultant, I am currently conducting semi-structured interviews with rural practitioners (N=15) and pregnant Appalachian women (N=24) to assess knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and beliefs related to preterm birth and transvaginal ultrasound. I recently co-authored a commentary on maternal morbidity and mortality in Appalachia with MD/PhD student, Ms. Anna Hansen for The Journal of Rural Health (

In August of 2018, I completed data collection on my pilot project, “Evaluating Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Stress, Insomnia, and Sedative Hypnotic Use in Appalachian Women Ages 45+.” I piloted a well-validated online program (SHUTi - Sleep Healthy Using the Internet) to determine its feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy in reducing sedative hypnotic use and improving stress and sleep among Appalachian women ages 45+ (N=38).  Analyses revealed that SHUTi significantly reduced insomnia severity, perceive stress, depression symptoms, and sleep aid use. These results were recently published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine (

My pilot project was supported by my two-year appointment as a Scholar in the NIH-funded Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program. I received additional funding from the "Igniting Research Collaborations" Pilot Grant (awarded through the UK College of Pharmacy), and the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Here is a link to a video where I describe my pilot project:

My work was also recently featured on WUKY, our local NPR station:

In addition to my sleep-focused research, I am keenly interested in medicalization, virtual manhood acts, and the intersection of gender and disability. I have published on these topics in a wide range of journals including: the American Journal of Public Health, Sociology of Health and Illness, Gender & Society, Men and Masculinities​, SAGE Research Methods Cases, Deviant Behavior, and Sociology Compass.


Professional Achievements and Honors

As a graduate student, I was awarded two competitive, pre-doctoral fellowships. My fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. My fellowship in the Carolina Program in Health and Aging Research was funded by the National Institute on Aging. I was also awarded the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship. This award, jointly awarded by Sociologists for Women in Society, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the American Sociological Association, uniquely recognizes Sociology PhD students who begin their careers in community or technical colleges and are committed to research and teaching focused on gender and/or aging.

Since coming to the University of Kentucky, I was awarded a Scholar position in the NIH Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health [BIRCWH] program. The BIRCWH program supports early stage faculty who demonstrate exceptional potential for a career in women’s health research. It provides 75% protected time, a financial allotment for research, strong mentorship, and exceptional peer support.

My gender-focused research has resulted in nominations for: a) the American Sociological Associations's Sex and Gender Section, Distinguished Paper Awards and b) the Southern Sociological Society's Katherine Jocher-Belle Boone Beard Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Understanding of Gender and Society.

In addition to building a strong research agenda, I am committed to teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. In 2018 I received the "Teacher Who Made a Difference" Award from the UK College of Education, and was also the UK Office of Undergraduate Research's "Faculty Mentor of the Week," March 19-23. I was also honored with a nomination for the UK College of Arts and Sciences' "Outstanding Teaching Award."

Selected Publications: 

PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (*denotes student co-author) (**denotes shared first authorship)

Moloney, Mairead E., GYeon Oh,* and Daniela Moga. “Use of Prescription Medications for Insomnia among Adults Ages 45+ in the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set.” Journal of Applied Gerontology. (Accepted with minor revisions.)

Moloney, Mairead E., Ashley Martinez,* Christal Badour, and Daniela Moga. 2019. “Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Appalachian Women: A Pilot Study.” Behavioral Sleep Medicine. DOI: 10.1080/15402002.2019.1661249

Hansen, Anna,* and Mairead E. Moloney. 2019. “Maternal Mortality and Severe Morbidity in Rural Appalachia: The Prevalence of Established Risks and the Need to Know More.” The Journal of Rural Health. DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12383

Moloney, Mairead E., Gabriele Ciciurkaite, and Robyn Lewis Brown. 2019. “Trends in Sleeplessness, Insomnia Diagnosis, and Prescription Sedative Hypnotics: Outcomes of U.S. Physician Office Visits 2007-2015.” SSM: Population Health. DOI:

Ciciurkaite, Gabriele,** Mairead E. Moloney,** and Robyn Lewis Brown. 2019. “The Incomplete Medicalization of Obesity: Physician Visits, Diagnoses, and Treatments, 1996-2014." Public Health Reports. DOI:

Brown, Robyn Lewis, and Mairead E. Moloney. 2018. “Intersectionality, Work, and Well-Being: The Effects of Gender and Disability.” Gender & Society. DOI: 10.1177/0891243218800636

Barbee, Harry N.*, Mairead E. Moloney, and Thomas R. Konrad. 2018. “Selling Slumber:  Sleeplessness, Medicalization, and the Critical Role of American Capitalism.” Sociology Compass. DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12622

Moloney, Mairead E. and Tony P. Love. 2018. “Assessing Online Misogyny: Perspectives from Sociology and Feminist Media Studies.” Sociology Compass. DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12577

Moloney, Mairead E., Robyn Lewis Brown, Gabriele Ciciurkaite, and Susan Foley. 2018. “‘Going the Extra Mile’: Experiences of Stigma Management among Working Women with Disabilities.” Deviant Behavior. DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2018.1445445

Love, Tony P., Mairead E. Moloney, and Amanda M. Bunting.* 2018. “Analyzing Virtual Manhood: Qualitative Analysis of Fappening-Related Twitter Data.” SAGE Research Methods Cases. DOI: 10.4135/9781526429797

Brown, Robyn Lewis, Mairead E. Moloney, and Jordan Brown. 2017. “Gender Differences in the Processes Linking Public Stigma and Self-Disclosure among College Students with Mental Illness." Journal of Community Psychology 46(2):202-212.

Brown, Robyn Lewis, Mairead E. Moloney, and Gabriele Ciciurkaite. 2017. “People with Physical Disabilities, Work, and Well-Being: The Importance of Autonomous and Creative Work.” Pp. 205-224 in Research in Social Science and Disability. Vol. 10, Factors in Studying Employment for Persons with Disability: How the Picture Can Change, edited by B.M. Altman. United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing.

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

  • Reprinted as: Moloney, Mairead E., and Tony P. Love. 2017. “#TheFappening: Virtual Manhood Acts in (Homo)Social Media.” Chapter 10 in Unmasking Masculinities: Men and Society, edited by E. W. Morris, and F.B. Oeur. Los Angeles: Sage.

Moloney, Mairead E. 2017. “‘Sometimes, it’s Easier to Write the Prescription’: Physician and Patient Accounts of the Reluctant Medicalisation of Sleeplessness.” Sociology of Health and Illness 39(3):333-348.

Moloney, Mairead E. 2016. “Bitten: A Patient with Tickborne Disease Struggles to Find the Right Provider.” Health Affairs 35(1):169-173.

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):1429-1433.

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):116-121.

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):2019-2024.

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):375-389.



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