Justin T. Maietta is a fifth-year graduate student and doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. He has completed comprehensive exams in the specialty areas of Social Psychology and Demography. Justin is passionate about both research and teaching. His research focuses on understanding social experiences of chronic illness and disability through the lens of sociological social psychology. His overall research interests include the self, identity, health & illness, disability, family and intimate relationship dynamics, and reflexive processes involved in qualitative research.

His first publication, “Integrating Illness Management Into Identity Verification Processes,” was recently published online in Qualitative Health Research. With the help of his interview participants, he highlights the ways that individuals living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes deal with episodic and chronic interference brought on by diabetes in their daily lives. Using a symbolic interactionist framework, he relays participants’ stories that demonstrate how illness management can be used to aid in achieving identity verification when chronic illness disrupts identity performances.

Justin is currently working on his dissertation entitled, How Living with Type 1 Diabetes Influences Family Planning, Relationship Decisions, and Role-Identity Self-Assessments. His main empirical foci in this qualitative interview study include how living with type 1 diabetes influences (1) reproductive and family planning decisions, (2) romantic partnering decisions, (3) individual conceptualizations of parent and partner role-identities, and (4) individuals’ feelings about their ability to fulfill these role identities in the context of living with T1D. Theoretically, this research bridges frameworks of disability studies and symbolic interactionism through understanding how individual experiences of impairment compare with ableist cultural discourses regarding their influence on decision-making throughout the life course.

Justin is currently teaching SOCY 230 (Sociological Social Psychology) in Spring 2021. In addition, he has over 4 years of experience as a teaching assistant in a variety of undergraduate courses, including: Sociological Social Psychology (SOCY 230), Sociology of Health & Illness (SOCY 335), Social Stratification & Inequality (SOCY 441), and Human Societies (SOCY 200). As a teaching assistant, Justin has been invited to give numerous guest lectures on topics such as chronic illness and identity, mental health, and research methods in sociology.


  • BA
    in Sociology, Stony Brook University
  • MA
    in Sociology, University of Maryland
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jmaietta [at] umd.edu