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E: wister@sfu.ca 
Office: SFU Vancouver, Room 2800

Andrew Wister

Professor | Director of the Gerontology Research Centre (GRC)

Andrew Wister, Ph.D., is the Director of the Gerontology Research Centre, and a Professor in the Department of Gerontology, in which he has been a faculty member for over 30 years. He is an internationally recognized expert on aging research, issues, policies, and training. Dr. Wister is the past Chair of the National Seniors Council of Canada. He was awarded the Distinguished Member Award, Canadian Association on Gerontology in 2014; the prestigious SFU University Professorship award (2015-2020); and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Wister was the primary architect of the MA and PhD Programs in Gerontology at SFU, and has served on the committees of over 80 successful graduate students. His extensive research career has produced over 200 publications, including over 120 highly-cited peer-reviewed articles, in addition to numerous books, text-books, monographs, reports, chapters and conference presentations. Four noteworthy books include: Baby Boomer Health Dynamics: How Are We Aging? (2005) published by University of Toronto Press; Aging as a Social Process: Canada and Beyond, 7th Edition (2019) published by Oxford University Press; Fact Book on Aging in BC and Canada (2019), published by the GRC; and Resilience and Aging: Emerging Science and New Frontiers. (2020) (with T. Cosco, Eds.) published by Springer.  

Dr. Wister has extensive experience in the collection and analyses of health and social data addressing baby boomer health and health care dynamics; multimorbidity resilience and aging, social isolation and aging; environmental adaptation among older adults; patterns of family and social support; statistical methods; and life-course trends and transitions; and applications of the above areas to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Wister is the SFU lead PI on the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging (CLSA) SFU Data Collection Site at Surrey Campus and the CLSA SFU Computer Assisted Telephone Interview site at the Vancouver Campus. He is also the PI or Co-Inv on numerous other grants and contracts that coincide with the strategic initiatives of the GRC.  

Education

  • PhD (Sociology/Demography) University of Western Ontario
  • MA (Sociology) University of Western Ontario
  • BA, Hons. (Sociology) University of Western Ontario

Research

Collection and analyses of health and social data addressing baby boomer health dynamics; environmental adaptation among older adults; patterns of family and social support; aging; health promotion and population health; statistical methods; life-course trends and transitions

Selected/current grants

Contract/Grant: Exploration Grant    Awarded: 2022    Period: 2022 - 2024

Project Title: Multiscale Modelling for Integrated Biological and Psychosocial Risk and Mitigation of Dementia
Funding: New Frontiers in Research Fund – Exploration  Type: Exploration Grant   Total: $250,000
Involvement: Co-Investigator  

Contract/Grant: National Targeted CIHR    Awarded: 2021    Period: 2021 - 2027

Project Title: Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Follow-up 3 and Follow-up 4
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research   Type: Research Grant    Total: $52,000,000
Involvement: SFU Principal Investigator; Lead; Co-Investigator 

Contract/Grant: Infrastructure Grant    Awarded: 2021    Period: 2021 - 2024

Project Title: Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA): A Platform for Interdisciplinary Research
Funding: Canadian Foundation for Innovation  Type: Infrastructure Grant                                                                                    Total: $24,550,211 National; $1,273,698 Direct to Wister   Involvement: SFU Principal Investigator; Lead; Co-Investigator 

Contract/Grant: Project Grant    Awarded: 2021    Period: 2021 - 2024

Project Title: Study on the Dynamic Evolution of Risk of Old-Age Support and Well-being of the Elderly in Rural Anhui China
Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China   Type: Project Grant    Total: $100,000
Involvement: Co-Investigator   

Selected Publications

Books

  • Wister, A. & T. D. Cosco (Eds) (2020). Resilience and Aging: Emerging Science and New Frontiers. New York, NY.: Springer.
  • Wister, A.V. (2019). Aging as a Social Process: Canada and Beyond, 7th Edition. Don Mills ON: Oxford University Press (500 pp).

Journal Articles

  • Wister, A. (2021). Social determinants and health behaviours among older adults experiencing multimorbidity using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue canadienne du vieillissement. 1-21. doi.org/10.1017/S0714980821000544.
  • Wister, A., Li, L., & Mitchell, B.  (2021). A study of social isolation, multimorbidity and multiple role demands among middle-age adults based on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. International Journal of Aging and Human Development. October 2021. doi:10.1177/00914150211040451.
  • Li, L., Wister, A., & Mitchell, B. (2020). Social isolation among spousal and adult-child caregivers: Findings from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Journals of Gerontology, Series B, gbaa197, doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa197.
  • Wister, A. & Speechley, M. (2020). COVID-19: Pandemic risk, resilience and possibilities for aging research. Canadian Journal on Aging. 39(3): 344-347.
  • Wister, A., Cosco, T., Mitchell, B., & Fyffe, I. (2020). Health behaviors and multimorbidity resilience among older adults using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. International Psychogeriatrics. 32(1), 119-133.
  • Raina, P., Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., Wister, A., et al. (2019). Cohort profile: The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), International Journal of Epidemiology, dyz173, DOI.org/10.1093/ije/dyz173.
  • Caragata, G., Wister, A., & Mitchell, B. (2019). “You’re a great driver/your driving scares me”: Reactions of older drivers to family comments. Transportation Review. 60:485-498. DOI.10.1016/j.trf.2018.10.022.
  • Wister, A., Cosco, T., Mitchell, B. Menec, V. & Fyffe, I. (2019). Development and concurrent validity of a composite social isolation index for older adults using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Canadian Journal on Aging.
  • Walker, B., Canham, S., Wister, A., & Fang, M.L. (2019). A GIS analysis of East Asian care gaps in residential and assisted living facilities in Vancouver, Canada. Journal of Housing for the Elderly.
  • Wister, A., Lear, S., Schrumann, N., MacKey, D., Mitchell, B., Cosco, T. D., & Fyffe, I. (2018). Development and validation of a multi-domain multimorbidity resilience index for an older population: Results from the baseline Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Biomedical Central (BMC) Geriatrics.
  • Wister, A., Kendig, H., Mitchell, B.A., Fyffe, I., & Loh, V. (2016). Multimorbidity, health and aging in Canada and Australia: A tale of two countries. Biomedical Central (BMC).
  • Wister, A., Coatta, K., Schuurman, N., Lear, S., Rosin, M. & MacKey, D. (2016). A lifecourse model of resilience applied to aging with multimorbidity. International Journal of Aging & Human Development.

Report Chapters

  • Wister, A.V., Menec, V. & Mugford, G. (2018). “Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Social Engagement” (80 pp.). Chapter in Results from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada.


Celebrating 40 years