Deborah Moon

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Deborah Moon is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on identifying strategies to integrate evidence-informed psychosocial interventions into community organizations that are traditionally underutilized in the promotion of mental health for children, youth, and families, including primary healthcare facilities, Federally qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), schools, churches, and libraries in under-resourced communities.  Dr. Moon’s studies are informed by health systems/services research, dissemination & implementation (D&I) science, and community-engaged research. Dr. Moon received a bachelor's degree in Life Science from Handong Global University in South Korea. She earned a master's degree in Music Therapy from New York University and in Social Work from the University of Maryland with a mental health specialization. Dr. Moon completed her Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Kansas.

Research Interests

  • Mental Health & Trauma
  • Prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Integrated health
  • Implementation science
  • Community-Engaged Research

Accepting Graduate Students: Yes

Looking for students who are interested in translational and implementation science research in the area of child and family mental health, child welfare, school-based interventions designed to promote youth well-being.

Current Research Projects

  • Just Discipline in Schools: Evaluating and Integrated and Interdisciplinary Approach, Institute of Education Science (IES)  
  • Family Success Network: Community-Based Maltreatment Prevention, Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau
  • The CHURCH Project: Congregations as Healers Uniting to Restore Community Health, Practice Innovation Opportunity Grant, Center for Interventions to Enhance Community Health (CiTECH) & Center of Race and Social Problems (CRSP), University of Pittsburgh
  • The CHURCH Music Project, Year of Engagement Award, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh

Representative Publications

  • Moon, D. J., Johnson-Motoyama, M. & Nichols, C. B.* (2021). Rural primary care organizational change toward trauma-informed integrated primary care: A realist evaluation. Global Implementation Research and Practice. 1(3), 160-171.
  • Moon, D. J., Lauer, S., & Unell, B. (2021). Behavior Checker® staff training for positive parenting in primary care: Changes in the knowledge, attitudes, and confidence. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 30(4), 932-940.
  • Moon, D. J., & Ballard, A. (2020) The comprehensive framework for integrated healthcare implementation: A realist evaluation of positive parenting in rural primary care in the U.S. Journal of Integrated CareVol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
  • Moon, D. J., Damman, J.L., & Romero, A. (2020). The effects of primary care-based parenting interventions on parenting and child behavioral outcomes: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse21(4), 706-724. doi: 10.1177/1524838018774424
  • Moon, D. J.,  Williford, A. & Mendenhall, A. (2017). Educators' perceptions of youth mental health: Implications for training and the promotion of mental health services in schools. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 384-391.


Fellowships, Awards & Honors

  • Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being. (2018-2020)            

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago


  • Social Work Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars (HEALS) (2018-2019)              

The New York Community Trust Robert and Ellen Popper Scholarship Fund.

National Association of Social Workers & Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)             




Areas of Expertise