Mary Ann Adams

Professor of Family Therapy


AAMFT Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Research Interests: single parenting, female adolescent identity issues, grief and family resilience

Outreach: strengthening single parent families and single parents in college; disaster mental health

Teaching: Family Systems Theories, Sexuality and the Family, Parenting


Statement of Interests:


I am interested in resilience, whether it is identifying factors that help young women become leaders, understanding why some families can rebound after a disaster and some cannot, or identifying support systems that allow parents to recover from the loss of a child.  While many family scholars have focused on the unhealthy aspects of family relationships, I focus on building on family strengths, believing that every victim can be turned into a survivor.

Selected Awards:

Heroes of Katrina Award (2005), The University of Southern Mississippi

Certificate of Appreciation (2003), Southern Poverty Law Center, “Presented to Dr. Mary Ann Adams in recognition of an important contribution to the ongoing fight against hatred and intolerance in America”, Wall Of Tolerance, Montgomery, Alabama

Commitment to Fatherhood Award (2001), Men helping Men become Better Fathers, “This award is presented to Dr. Mary Ann Adams for her commitment to the future of our children”, Reverend Arthur Siggers, Mt. Olive Baptist Church

Outstanding Contributor Award (1991), Outstanding Leadership in the Advancement of Education in Marriage and Family Therapy, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Mississippi Division

Selected Publications:

Hinton, W.J., Sims, P.L.,Adams, M.A. & West, C. (2007). Juvenile Justice: A System Divided. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 18 (4) 466-483

Adams, M.A., Hinton, W.J. & Grames, H. (2007). Retirement for Single Moms: The Not So Golden Years. Family Therapy Magazine, 6 (1) 16-20

Sims, P.L., Hinton, W.J., Adams, M.A. & West, C. (2007). Building A Bridge: An Experiential Group for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse. The Group Therapists Notebook: Homework, handouts and activities, New York: Haworth, pp. 95-102

Adams, M.A. & Hinton, W.J. (2006). Rescuing the Rescuer: MFT’s as American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Workers. Family Therapy Magazine, Volume 5 Number 2, pp. 12 – 15

Adams, M.A., Hinton, W.J. & Sims, P.L. (2005) Gender Specific interventions with female juvenile offenders. Proceedings: 32 nd Annual Juvenile Justice Symposium: Ensuring Positive Outcome for Youth, Families, and Communities. University, MS: The Mississippi Judicial College, pp. 28 - 38

Adams, M. A., Hinton, W. J. & Sims, P.L. (2005). Single Parents. In N.J. Salkind (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Human Development, Newberry Park, CA: SAGE, pp. 1175 - 1178

Thun, D., Sims, P., Adams, M. & Webb, T. (2003). Effects of Group Therapy on Female Adolescent Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Pilot Study. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 11, (4).

Adams, M. A., Ainsworth, P., LeFlore, L., Webb, T., McCullum, P. and Adcock, J. (1996). Calling All Men: The Impact of Male Intervention. Proceedings: Making a Difference for Children, Families, and Communities: Partnerships Among Researchers, Practitioners and Policymakers . Head Start’s Third National Research Conference. Washington, D. C., 549.

Adams, M. A. & Simons, M. A., (1995). Parent Power: Dissemination of Sexual Content Information. A Study of the Most Effective Method for Family Involvement in Teaching Sex Education. Proceedings: Third Annual Conference on Parent Education . Denton, Texas, 4.

Adams, M.A. (1992) A The Role of Hemispheric Preference in Understanding Family Systemic Functioning”, in Hemisphericity as a Key to Understanding Individual Differences , Edited by Isadore Sonnier, Charles Thomas, Publishers, Springfield, Ill. Adams, M. A., Rojos-Camero, C., and Clayton, K. J., (1990). A Small Group Sex Education/Intervention Model for the Well Elderly: A Challenge for Educators. Educational Gerontology: An International Bimonthly . July/August 1990.

LeFlore, L. & Holston (Adams), M. A., (1989). Perceived importance of Parenting Behaviors of Incarcerated and Non-incarcerated Mothers: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Offender Counseling, Services, and Rehabilitation , 14, No. 1.

Rojos-Camero, C., Adams, M. A., and Clayton, K. J., (1989). Effectiveness of Leadership Style in a Small Group Sex Education Workshop for the Elderly. Proceedings: Developing Leadership in Geriatric Education. Lexington, Kentucky, 83-88.

Holston (Adams), M. A., (1988). Popular Press Family Life Education: Truth or Consequences? Family Life Educator , 6, No. 4, 34.

Sones, D. & Holston(Adams), M. A., (1988). Tolerance, Sociability, Sex and Race: Correlates of Attitudes Toward Interracial Marriage . Psychological Reports , 62, 518.

Holston, (Adams) M. A., & Cantrell, Steve, (1986). The Implementation of Family Problem Solving Effectiveness Theory in the Measurement of Communication Process. Proceedings: International Conference on Thinking and Problem Solving in Home Economics , Columbus, Ohio, 461-469.

Smith, D. J., Holston, (Adams), M. A., & Carr, A. D., (1986). New Perspectives for Traditional Celebrations. Lollipops: The Magazine for Preschool and Childhood Educators , 5, No. 2, (32), 38-40.

Research Citations:

Holston (Adams), M. A. (1987). Babies Don’t Come With Directions: A Communication Project on Teen Pregnancy Prevention , A Congressional Briefing, Washington, D. C., June.

Selected Funded Grants:

“Child Care Access Means Parents in School”, United States Department of Education

“The University of Southern Mississippi: Building Community Resilience through Family             Therapy”, The American Red Cross and the Foundation for the Mid South

“Girls to Women: Creating Today’s Leaders for Tomorrow’s Problems”, Mississippi Department of Human Services Block Grant, United States Department of Human Services

“Project Dad Link”, Project Director, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services

“Multi-Systemic Delinquency Prevention Program”, Three year award, State of Mississippi, Department of Public Safety

“Men Matter Family Project”, Project Director, State of Mississippi, Department of Human Services

“Calling All Men”, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Research and Education Foundation, Washington, D.C.

“The University Clinic for Family Therapy Block Grant Teen Parenting Program”, Office of Children and Youth, State of Mississippi, Department of Human Resources

“Mississippi Department of Corrections Parenting Program: Consultation and Research Evaluation”, Department of Health and Human Services, The Mississippi Department of Corrections Amount

“Assessment of the Family Genogram as a Method of Disseminating Sexual Content Material in the Educational Setting”, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Summer Grant, The University of Southern Mississippi

“An Examination of Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics: Are They Culture Bound?”,Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, University of Southern Mississippi

“Pregnant Adolescents  Family of Origin Systemic Change”, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Developmental Grant, The University of Southern Mississippi

“Assistance for Single Parents in School”, Forrest-Lamar County Mental Health Association