Professor of Gerontology | Professor of Sociology

T: 778-782-5234
Office: SFU Vancouver, Room 2800

Barbara A. Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell, Professor of Gerontology & Sociology, was educated at the University of Waterloo (Honours BA, MA) and received a PhD in Sociology from McMaster University in 1995. Dr. Mitchell holds a joint faculty appointment with the Department of Sociology. She began her teaching career at the University 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 2002, she 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). She was also awarded the 2008 Dean’s Faculty Medal Award in recognition of academic excellence in all areas of teaching, research, and service.

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 (2011–2015). Dr. Mitchell is also presently serving on the advisory board for the Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, housed at the University 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 Aging, and Canadian Studies in Population.


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

currently teaching

Dr. Mitchell is not currently teaching any classes in Gerontology.

Select Publications


  • Mitchell, B. A. (2017). Family matters: An introduction to family sociology in Canada. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Mitchell, B. A. (2017). The boomerang age: Transitions to adulthood in families. Routledge.


Families and aging; life-course research; intergenerational relations; mixed-methods research (quantitative and qualitative); social policy issues; health promotion