Professor Nathan Hughes
BA(Hons), MA, PhD
Department of Sociological Studies
Professor of Adolescent Health and Justice
Head of Department
+44 114 222 6439
Full contact details
Department of Sociological Studies
Nathan joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2017. He was previously senior lecturer in social policy and social work at the University of Birmingham, having completed his PhD at the University of Warwick.
Nathan is also visiting senior fellow at the School of Government of the University of Melbourne, and honorary researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Centre, Melbourne.
- Research interests
Nathan’s research is at the interface between social policy, criminology and developmental sciences. It considers the explanations for patterns of offending apparent in emerging understandings of typical and atypical adolescent neuromaturation, and their implications for policy and practice.
His work is uniquely interdisciplinary within his field, drawing on developmental psychopathology and adolescent developmental science to support biosocial modelling of patterns of offending and desistance, and applying this to a critical analysis of criminal justice practices and interventions.
In particular, he focuses on practices and interventions that discriminate against and criminalise young people as a result of neurodevelopmental disability, and those that engage young adult offenders.
- Exploration of a novel preventative policing approach in the United Kingdom to adverse childhood experiences. Child Abuse Review, 29(2), 144-158. View this article in WRRO
- Ensuring the rights of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities within child justice systems. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 4(2), 163-166.
- Health determinants of adolescent criminalisation. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 4(2), 151-162.
- Traumatic brain injury and homelessness: from prevalence to prevention. The Lancet Public Health. View this article in WRRO
- The health of children deprived of liberty: a human rights issue. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. View this article in WRRO
- Community-based interventions for adolescents following traumatic brain injury: A systematic review. NeuroRehabilitation. View this article in WRRO
- Traumatic Brain Injury: A potential cause of violent crime?. Lancet Psychiatry. View this article in WRRO
- Language impairment and comorbid vulnerabilities among young people in custody. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(10), 1106-1113.
- Implementing the evidence on young adult neuromaturation: The development of a specialist approach in probation services. Probation Journal, 63(4), 452-459.
- Family and Community Predictors of Comorbid Language, Socioemotional and Behavior Problems at School Entry. PLoS ONE, 11(7). View this article in WRRO
- The Prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Offenders in Custody. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 30(2), 94-105.
- Understanding the influence of neurodevelopmental disorders on offending: utilizing developmental psychopathology in biosocial criminology. Criminal Justice Studies, 28(1), 39-60.
- Prevalence and Predictors of Externalizing Behavior in Young Adult Survivors of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 30(2), 75-85.
- Safeguarding the Needs of Children and Young People Seeking Asylum in the UK: Addressing Past Failings and Meeting Future Challenges. Child Abuse Review, 21(5), 335-348.
- Young people ‘as risk’ or young people ‘at risk’: Comparing discourses of anti-social behaviour in England and Victoria. Critical Social Policy, 31(3), 388-409.
- New occupations in community justice: Inventing the professional curriculum for community safety and anti social behaviour officers. British Journal of Community Justice, 8(2), 17-30.
- Introduction: Family Minded Policy and Whole Family Practice – Developing a Critical Research Framework. Social Policy and Society, 9(4), 527-531.
- Working with Alcohol and Drug Use: Exploring the Knowledge and Attitudes of Social Work Students. British Journal of Social Work, 40(3), 946-962.
- Carers and the digital divide: factors affecting Internet use among carers in the UK. Health and Social Care in the Community, 13(3), 201-210.
- A model of effective distributed delivery to healthcare professionals of education in diabetes care. Education for Primary Care, 15(4), 596-605.
- Information needs and prostate cancer: the development of a systematic means of identification. BJU International, 94(1), 63-69.
- The consequences of traumatic brain injury from the classroom to the courtroom: understanding pathways through structural equation modelling. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-10.
- A systematic review of the prevalence of foetal alcohol syndrome disorders among young people in the criminal justice system. Cogent Psychology, 3(1).
- Understanding and Supporting “Families with Complex Needs”: An Editorial. Social Sciences, 4(4), 1335-1339.
- Enhancing Educational Support: Towards Holistic, Responsive and Strength-based Services for Young Refugees and Asylum-seekers. Children & Society, 21(4), 261-272.
- The health of adolescents in detention : a global scoping review. The Lancet Public Health. View this article in WRRO
- Mental Health Needs and Neurodevelopmental Disorders amongst Young Offenders: Implications for Policy and Practice, Mental Health, Crime and Criminal Justice (pp. 109-130). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Families in transition: Family minded policy and practice: A critical analysis of contemporary approaches to vulnerable families, Global Social Transformation and Social Action: The Role of Social Workers: Social Work-Social Development Volume III (pp. 128-131).
- Family minded policy and practice: A critical analysis of contemporary approaches to vulnerable families, Global Social Transformation and Social Action: The Role of Social Workers: Social Work-Social Development Volume III (pp. 128-131).
- Managerialism subverted? Exploring the activity of youth justice practitioners, Subversive Citizens: Power, Agency and Resistance in Public Services (pp. 155-170).
- Delivering youth justice through partnership working, Social Work and Multi-Agency Working: Making a Difference (pp. 9-27).
- Research group
Nathan supervises PhDs in issues related to youth and young adults, crime and criminalisation, and childhood neurodevelopmental disability.
2015-17, Funded by: College of Policing, Police Knowledge Fund
Examining the use of indicators of adverse childhood experiences to support police engagement.
2013-16, Funded by: Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, European Commission FP7 Framework
This fellowship supported two years based at the Centre for Adolescent Health and the Australian Centre for Child Neuropsychology Studies at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and the School of Government at the University of Melbourne. Specific projects included:
- Analysis of a 21-year longitudinal study of children admitted to hospital as a result of traumatic brain injury, examining behavioural trajectories into young adulthood.
- Analysis of an annual census of health, well-being and behaviour of over 50,000 students starting school in Victoria, examining risk factors for comorbid communication and emotional or behavioural problems in the early years, and utilizing data linkage to understand impact on educational attainment.
- Qualitative research with community criminal justice service providers regarding understandings of and responses to traumatic brain injury.
- Systematic reviews regarding the prevalence of traumatic brain injury among young people in custody, and the effectiveness of school-based and community-based interventions following pediatric traumatic brain injury.
2010-14, Funded by: International Research Staff Exchange Scheme, European Commission FP7 Framework
Understanding and Supporting Families with Complex Needs: a comparative study of family-minded policy and practice in social work, health and education in Europe and Latin America .
2012, Funded by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England
Prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders amongst young people in custody.
2011, Funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust
Maturity and offending amongst young adults.
2009, Funded by Leverhulme Study Abroad Fellowship
Comparing anti-social behaviour policy in the UK, Western Australia and Victoria.
2007-8, Funded by the Ministry of Justice
Access to justice for vulnerable groups.