John Coleman took his first degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He completed his PhD at University College, London in 1966, and following training at the Middlesex Hospital in London, moved to a position as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the London Hospital Medical College in Whitechapel. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1971, and remained in this post until 1983. Having worked as the Editor of the Journal of Adolescence and writing extensively on youth-related topics, he went on to establish 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 in Brighton.
He was the Director of the Trust 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 has been a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. He is a Research Fellow of Green College, Oxford. He was awarded the OBE in 2001.
John Coleman's personal website can be found at www.jcoleman.co.uk.