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The University of Southampton

Professor Peter Coleman MA PhD CPsychol FBPsS FAcSS

Emeritus Professor of Psychogerontology

Professor Peter Coleman's photo

Professor Peter Coleman is Emeritus Professor of Psychogerontology within Psychology at the University of Southampton. Professor Peter Coleman was appointed in 1977 to a joint appointment in Gerontology between the Medical School (Geriatric Medicine) and Social Sciences at the University of Southampton in 1977. He had worked for the previous five years as a researcher in the Department of Social Gerontology at the Institute of Applied Psychology in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Growing old is not only about loss and decline. Like all other stages of the life course it involves continued development and adaptation to change both in experience of the self and the world in which one lives.

Peter Coleman has played a major role in developing the study of ageing within the UK and internationally. In his initial fifteen years in Southampton he coordinated one of the first postgraduate courses on ageing in the UK and has subsequently contributed as teacher and external examiner to other courses both in the UK and abroad. As well as writing textbooks on the developmental psychology of ageing he has contributed as co-editor and author to numerous multi- and interdisciplinary books on ageing. He was editor of the journal ‘Ageing and Society’ from 1992 to 1997 and has served as assistant editor and on the editorial board of other gerontological journals.

He chaired the ageing research network of the university from 1994 to 2006. He held a visiting appointment at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki between 1996 and 1999. He delivered the 2006 Age Concern David Hobman Memorial Lecture at King’s College, University of London. In 2007 he was awarded the Robert Butler Research Prize by the International Institute of Reminiscence and Life Review, and in 2015 the Outstanding Achievement Award of the British Society of Gerontology.

Research interests

Peter Coleman’s principal research interests have remained focused on developmental aspects of ageing, particularly on uses of reminiscence, and the role of spiritual belief and practice in adjustment to loss and change. He has also conducted major research projects on evaluation of services for persons with dementia, on factors related to experience of depression, and adaptation to bereavement of spouse in later life.

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His recent and forthcoming publications include:

Coleman, P.G. and Colleagues. Belief and Ageing: Spiritual Pathways in Later Life. Policy Press, Bristol, 2011.

Coleman, P.G., Koleva, D. and Bornat, L. (eds.) Ageing, Ritual and Social Change: Comparing the Secular and Religious in Eastern and Western Europe. Ashgate, Farnham, 2013.

Coleman, P.G., Ivani-Chalian, C. and Robinson, M. (eds.) Self and Meaning in Later Life: Case-studies over Twenty Years. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Coleman, P.G. and O’Hanlon, A. Aging and Development: Social and Emotional Perspectives. Second Edition. Routledge, London, 2016.

I was coordinator of a 3rd year teaching module on adult development and ageing for 25 years and contributed to 3rd and 4th year medical school teaching in geriatrics and gerontology. I now provide guest lectures within the psychology degree programme and continue to contribute to postgraduate research supervision.

Professor Peter Coleman
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/3065

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