John Coleman is a psychologist whose primary interest is adolescence. He is the Founder of the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (now renamed Young People in Focus) and was the Director of the organisation from 1989 until he retired in 2005. From 2005 to 2006 he held a post as a Policy Advisor in the Department of Health, and since October 2006 he has been a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford.


John took his first degree at McGill University in Montreal. He completed his PhD at University College, London in 1966, and trained as a clinical psychologist at the Middlesex Hospital. He was appointed a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the London Hospital Medical College in 1967, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1971. In 1983 he launched the Sussex Youth Trust, an organisation providing residential care for disturbed teenagers, and then in 1989 he founded the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (TSA) in Brighton. He retired in 2005, and is currently a Patron of the organisation. John's pioneering work has been widely recognised, and in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2001 he was awarded an OBE for his services to young people.


John has published widely on the subject of children and adolescents. He is best known for his textbook "The nature of adolescence", now in its fourth edition, published by Routledge in 2010. The third edition was translated into 6 languages, and the book has an international reputation. John is the author of 18 books and over 50 academic papers. He is the Editor of the Routledge series "Adolescence and society", details of which can be found at the Routledge Adolescent Studies Arena. John's other recent books include "Adolescence and health", edited with Leo Hendry and Marion Kloep (Wiley Blackwell, 2007), and "Adolescence: risk and resilience", edited with Ann Hagell (Wiley Blackwell, 2007). He wrote the 7th Edition of "Key data on adolescence" with Fiona Brooks (available from, and is currently working on the 8th Edition which will be published in 2011. He has also served as Guest Editor of a special issue of the Oxford Review of Education entitled "Well-being in schools" published in June 2009.

Links to other organisations

John was for many years the Editor of the Journal of Adolescence, and is currently a Consulting Editor. He is the Chair of the Association for Young People's Health, and a Trustee of the Family and Parenting Institute and of Parenting UK. He is also working as a Consultant with Professor Lord Layard at the LSE on life skills education in the secondary school.

Current Research

John's current research interests include emotional health and well-being, adolescent health, the teaching of life skills and PSHE, the parenting of teenagers, and the impact of digital technologies on young people's lives. From 2007 to 2009 he held an ESRC seminar series award for his work on digital technologies, details of which can be found at

John Coleman


John Coleman