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Behavioral Science




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Photo of Robert StrausRobert Straus, Ph.D.

(Yale University 1947)

126 College of Medicine Office Building
Phone: (859) 263-0873

Research Description

Although, no longer an active investigator, Robert Straus maintains association with the Department of Behavioral Science that he founded in 1959 and chaired for 28 years.  In the late 1940's, he joined a handful of investigators at Yale University in developing the multidisciplinary field of alcohol studies.  In 1953, he moved into medical education at SUNY Syracuse and in 1956 became one of a five person group that came to Lexington to plan for and develop the University of Kentucky's Medical Center.  Straus has authored seven books and monographs and about a hundred papers and chapters concerned with alcohol and other forms of dependency behavior and with social and other behavioral factors in health and disease.  He remains a strong advocate for research that challenges the barriers between the biological and the behavioral sciences.  He has been a member of the Institute of Medicine since 1975.

Representative Publications


Straus, R.  Medical care for seamenThe development of public health services in the United States.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1950.

Straus, R. and Bacon, S.D.  Drinking in college.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953.  (Republished, Westport, CT:  Greenwood Press, 1971)

Straus, R. Alcohol and society.  Psychiatric Annals, 1973, 3, No. 10 (entire issue).  (Reprinted as monograph.  New York:  Insight Publishing C., 1974).

Straus, R.  Escape from custodyA study of alcoholism and of institutional dependency as reflected in the life record of a homeless man.  New York:  Harper and Row, 1974.

Straus, R., A Medical School is BornA history of the conception, gestation, and the infancy of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine by one who assisted in the delivery.  Kuttawa, KY.:  McClenahan Publishing House, 1996.


Straus, R.  Social change and the rehabilitation concept.  In M.T. Sussman (Ed.),  Sociology and rehabilitation.  Washington:  The American Sociological Association, 1965. 

Straus, R., Hospital organization from the viewpoint of patient centered goals.  In B.S. Georgopoulos (Ed.),  Organization research on health institutions.  Ann Arbor, Michigan:  Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan, 1972.

Straus, R.  Types of alcohol dependence.  B. Kissin and H. Begleiter (Eds.),  The Biology of alcoholism, Vol. 6, The pathogenesis of alcoholism, psychosocial factors.  New York:  Plenum Publishing Co., 1983.

Sraus, R.  Interdisciplinary biobehavioral research on alcohol problems:  A concept whose time has come.  In Bernard Segal (Ed.), Alcoholism etiology and treatment.  New York:  Hawthorn Press, 1988.  Also in Drugs and Society, 1988, 2(4), 33-48.


Straus, R.  Alcohol and the homeless man.  Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1946, 7, 260-404.

Williams, P.H. and Straus, R.  Drinking patterns of Italians in New Haven:  utilization of the personal diary as a research technique.  Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1950, 11, 51-91, 250-308, 452-483, 586-629.

Straus, R.  The nature and status of medical sociology.  American Sociological Review, 1957, 22, 200-204.

Straus, R.  Some sociocultural considerations in the care of patients with myocardial infarction.  Journal of Health and Human Behavior, 1960, 1, 119-122. 

Straus, R.  Poverty as an obstacle to health progress in our rural areas.  American Journal of Public Health, 1965, 55, 1772-1779.

Straus, R.  The need to drink "too much."  Journal of Drug Issues, 1984, 14, 125-136.

Straus, R.  The Politics of Alochol Research, Drugs and Society, 1997, 11, 25-42.

Straus, R.  Medical sociology:  A personal fifty year perspective.  Journal of Health and Social Behavioral, 1999, 40, 1033-110.

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