Professor (Joint appointment with Sociology)

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Office: Harbour Centre, Room 2800

Barbara A. Mitchell

Professor (Joint appointment with Sociology

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 and Qualitative Methods, Families Over the Life Course, Youth and Society, and Families, Communities and Health.

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 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.

See Curriculum Vitae for full details.


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


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

Select Publications


  • Mitchell, B. A. (2017). Family matters: An introduction to family sociology in Canada, 3rd Ed. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Mitchell, B. A. (2006/2007). The boomerang age: Transitions to adulthood in families. Aldine Transaction.

Recent Peer-Reviewed Articles

Awards and Honours

  • Recipient of the 2008 Dean’s Faculty Medal Award in recognition of academic excellence in teaching, research, and service, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Simon Fraser University.
  • Nominated for the 2007 William Goode Award, best book contribution to Family Sociology (for The Boomerang Age: Transitions to Adulthood in Families, Aldine Transaction, 2006), American Sociological Association.
  • Recipient of the 2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award (for The Boomerang Age: Transitions to Adulthood in Families, Aldine Transaction, 2006), Choice Magazine, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Recipient of the 2004 President’s Service Award for outstanding contribution to university service through media and public relations, Simon Fraser University.


Dr. Mitchell regularly shares her research with the public on many family-related aging issues. She has contributed extensive time and expertise to a wide range of national and international print, television, and radio outlets such as: The Globe and Mail, Maclean's Magazine, The Washington Post, USA Today, Global TV, Sirius XM110's Doctor's Radio, and CBC Radio (see link for more comprehensive list).