Professor Peter James Adams

PhD, PGDipClinPsych, MA


Peter was born in Auckland of Scottish/Irish/English ancestry. He initially graduated from the University of Auckland in the early 1980s with postgraduate training in philosophy and psychology. He practised as a clinical psychologist for 13 years during which he developed specialist expertise in the area of addictive behaviour and violence. This led him into playing an active and often leadership role in community initiatives that included forming a violence collective, establishing innovations in mental health and addiction services, chairing the Problem Gambling Foundation and fostering a variety of workforce initiatives with a community focus. From 1991 on, he brought this enthusiasm for community development into the University. In 2000, restructuring of our faculty provided the opportunity to establish a new section focused specifically on the application of community strength building approaches to health. He has published seven sole-authored books:  How to Talk about Spiritual Encounters (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), Reflecting on the Inevitable: Mortality at the Crossroads of Psychology, Philosophy and Health (Oxford University Press, 2020), Navigating Everyday Life: Exploring the Tension between Finitude and Transcendence  (Lexington, 2018), Moral Jeopardy: Risks of Accepting Money from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Gambling Industries (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Masculine Empire: How Men Use Violence to Keep Women in Line (Dunmore, 2012), Fragmented Intimacy: Addiction in a Social World  (Springer, 2008), Gambling, Freedom and Democracy (Routledge, 2007),

Current roles


Research | Current

Research interests

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Violence
  • Qualitative methods
  • Existential dynamics of life transitions

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Adams, P. (2018). Navigating Everyday Life Exploring the Tension Between Finitude and Transcendence. Pages: 286.
  • Adams, P. J. (2016). Moral jeopardy: Risks of accepting money from the alcohol, tobacco and gambling industries. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 282. 10.1017/CBO9781316118689
  • Livingstone, C., & Adams, P. J. (2016). Clear principles are needed for integrity in gambling research. Addiction, 111 (1), 5-10. 10.1111/add.12913
  • Adams, P. J., & Livingstone, C. (2015). Addiction surplus: The add-on margin that makes addictive consumptions difficult to contain. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26 (1), 107-111. 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.07.018
  • Adams, P. J., & Buetow, S. (2014). The place of theory in assembling the central argument for a thesis or dissertation. Theory & Psychology, 24 (1), 93-110. 10.1177/0959354313517523
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stephen Buetow
  • Adams, P. J., Prescott, A., & Dixon, R. (2012). Strange bedfellows: meta-narrative traditions in the alcohol and other drug field. Drug Alcohol Rev, 31 (4), 591-597. 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00386.x
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robyn Dixon
  • Adams, P. J. (2012). Masculine empire: How men use violence to keep women in line. Auckland: Dunmore Press. Pages: 317.
  • Adams, P. J. (2008). Fragmented Intimacy: Addiction in a Social World. New York: Springer.

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 1, Room 1150
New Zealand

Web links