PhD, Social Welfare, University of Kansas
Cohort Eight Fellow

Debby Moon.jpg

Academic Mentor
Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, PhD
Associate Professor, The Ohio State University College of Social Work

Policy Mentor
Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD
Professor, Pediatric Behavioral Department, University of Kansas School of Medicine

Current Institutional Affiliation
University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work: Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise
Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Mental Health and Well-Being, Youth Development


Deborah is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Dr. Moon received her PhDin Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. Dr. Moon earned a masters' degree in music therapy at New York University as well as in social work at the University of Maryland Baltimore. Prior to beginning her doctoral education, Dr. Moon provided music therapy and clinical mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults with various mental health diagnoses. In particular, as a certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Dr. Moon provided trauma therapies to children and adults with a history of trauma exposure. While pursuing the doctoral degree, Dr. Moon teaches human behavior theories and cognitive behavioral therapy for undergraduate and graduate students in social work at the University of Kansas. Also, as a research associate at KU center for Telemedicine & Telehealth at KU medical center, Dr. Moon provided leadership and assistance in planning, designing, and conducting program evaluation for various nationally funded research projects under the supervision of the center director. Dr. Moon brings in her clinical as well as research knowledge and skills in behavioral health and childhood trauma to further advance community-engaged research to promote health and well-being of underserved children. 


Preventing Maltreatment through Trauma-Informed Integrated Primary Care: A Realist Evaluation of Community-Based Organizational Change Efforts

This dissertation is an organizational case study informed by the realist evaluation paradigm. The study examines the process of primary care organizational transformation toward trauma-informed integrated care through the adoption of a behavioral parenting intervention (i.e., Behavior Checker) that seeks systematic dissemination of evidence-informed positive parenting strategies at the population level. The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold: 1) to contribute to theories of organizational change associated with developing and delivering trauma-informed integrated primary care for community-based maltreatment prevention; 2) to identify facilitators and barriers in such processes. Based on the socio-ecological model of violence prevention, the current study seeks to elucidate the role of the primary health care system in maltreatment prevention and contribute to primary health care practice and policy guidelines based on solid theoretical foundations that align with national efforts to prevent maltreatment and promote child well-being at the population level.