Behavioural Sciences in Medicine

Behavioural Sciences in Medicine began teaching courses in 1974. Its role is to teach in the behavioural sciences as they relate to medicine and to carry out research into a broad range of topics related to the interface between medicine and the social sciences.

Current research projects include research into people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness in the court system; and empathy, self-efficacy and behavioural problems of people with Asperger's syndrome, high functioning autism.

Some recently completed projects include:

  • Intellectual disability and the criminal justice system - research on people with intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system, both as victims and offenders.
    We investigated the incidence of intellectual disability amongst a cohort of people appearing before NSW lower courts and are pursuing follow-up projects aimed at identifying factors which may reduce recidivism among offenders with intellectual disability. A screening test for intellectual disability in legal environments has been developed (Hayes Ability Screening Index - HASI) and is being validated in a number of research projects in Australia and internationally.
  • Juvenile sex-offenders - research investigated the psychological profiles and psychopathy of juvenile sex-offenders using the Hare Psychopathy Index, the MMPI and the Rorschach.
  • Neonatal death - a research project on the examination of shame and grief experienced by parents following the death of a newborn.

Contact details

Professor Susan Hayes
Professor of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine

Central Clinical School
Blackburn Building (D06)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 9351 2776
Fax: +61 2 9351 5319