• PhD (Sociology) McMaster University
  • MA (Sociology) University of Waterloo
  • BA (Hons.) Sociology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research Interests

Families and aging; youth transitions into adulthood; intergenerational relations; mixed-methods research (quantitative & qualitative); social policy issues; health promotion.


Dr. Mitchell, Professor of Sociology & Gerontology, was educated at the University of Waterloo (Honours B.A., M.A.) and received a Ph.D. in Sociology from McMaster University in 1995. Dr. Mitchell holds a joint faculty appointment with the Department of Gerontology. She began her teaching career at U. of British Columbia in 1991 as a sessional instructor and she has been teaching at SFU since 1994. Barb has taught several undergraduate and graduate courses over her career, including: Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of the Family, Quantitative Methods, Families over the Life Course, Youth and Society, and Families, Communities and Health. In 2002she was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award.

She also regularly contributes her time to the media (print, radio, T.V.) by sharing her expertise on families, parent-child relations, youth transitions to adulthood (e.g., ‘boomerang kids’), gender relations, and the social/demographic aspects of families and aging.  Previously, she was the recipient of the 2004 President’s Service Award for outstanding contribution to university service through media and public relations. Selected Media Interviews.  More recently, she was awarded the 2008 Dean’s Faculty Medal Award in recognition of academic excellence in all areas of teaching, research, and service. Additionally,  her biography was listed in the 100th anniversary edition of the Canadian Who’s Who (2010), U. of Toronto Press, for making a significant contribution to Canadian Life.

Barbara Mitchell also currently or has previously served on several editorial/advisory committees. Notably, she was the Social Sciences Editor for the Canadian Journal on Aging (2011-2015) ,and she recently served as a consulting editor for the Canadian Review of Sociology for the Canadian Review of Sociology (2011-2015). Dr. Mitchell is also presently serving on the advisory board for the Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, housed at the U. of Waterloo.

Dr. Mitchell has published her work in numerous journals and books, including: Canadian Journal of Sociology, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Sociological Perspectives, Family Relations, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Marriage and Family, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Journal of Women and Aging, Canadian Journal on Agingand Canadian Studies in Population.

Recent Publications here 

Barbara Mitchell

Professor of Sociology and Gerontology,
Joint appointment with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology


Sociology/Anthropology, Burnaby Campus
Office: Burnaby Campus, Academic Quadrangle, room 5057

Gerontology, Vancouver Campus (Harbour Centre) 
Phone: 778-782-5234
Office: Vancouver Campus at Harbour Centre, room 2800