Sarah Canham

Research Associate and BC Real Estate Fellow

Telephone: 778-782-9876
Fax: 778-782-5066




With close to 50 presentations and over 25 peer-reviewed articles published to date, Dr. Sarah Canham's interdisciplinary research has revolved around topics of social gerontology and the social context of medication and alcohol use in later life, homelessness and housing, health services, and service delivery. Dr. Canham is a University Research Associate with the Gerontology Research Centre (GRC) and a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Gerontology at Simon Fraser University. She has a MA degree in Applied Sociology (2008) and a PhD in Gerontology (2011) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Canham has taught several undergraduate courses over her career, including: Sociology of Aging, Aging & Society, Introduction to Gerontology, and Mental Health & Aging. Dr. Canham’s strong interest and commitment to the fields of aging and the lifecourse is evident in her work as a community-based researcher in the GRC where she pursues investigations with the support of multiple community partners. Dr. Canham is passionate about conducting research to inform policy, increase quality of life outcomes, and reduce health disparities. Dr. Canham also has an active role in the Gerontological Society of America, where she is the convener for the Aging, Alcohol, and Addictions Interest Group and co-founded and organizes the Gerontologists Giving Back Service Event during the annual conference.

Selected Publications

Canham, S.L., Fang, M.L., Battersby, L., Woolrych, R., Sixsmith, J., Ren, T.H., & Sixsmith, A. (2017, e-pub). Contextual factors for aging well: Creating socially engaging spaces through the use of deliberative dialogues. The Gerontologist. doi:10.1093/geront/gnx121

Canham, S.L., & Mauro, P.M. (2017). Self-medication with alcohol: Aging issues. In A. Kuerbis, A. Moore, P. Sacco, & F. Zanjani (Eds.), Alcohol and aging: A textbook of clinical and public health perspectives (pp. 201-214). Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47233-1_13

Canham, S.L, Mahmood, A., Stalman, M.N., King, D.B., & O’Rourke, N. (2017, e-pub). Personal theories of substance use by middle-aged and older adults with bipolar disorder. Aging & Mental Health. doi:10.1080/13607863.2017.1299689

Canham, S.L., Battersby, L, Fang, ML, Sixsmith, J, Woolrych, R, & Sixsmith, A. (e-pub, 2016). From familiar faces to family: Staff and resident relationships in long-term care. Journal of Aging & Health. doi: 10.1177/0898264316645550

Canham, S.L., Mauro, P.M., Kaufmann, C.N., & Sixsmith, A. (2016). Association of alcohol use and loneliness frequency among middle-aged and older adult drinkers. Journal of Aging & Health, 28(2), 267-284. doi:10.1177/0898264315589579

Canham, S.L., Kaufmann, C.N., Mauro, P.M., Mojtabai, R., & Spira, A.P. (2015). Binge drinking and insomnia in middle-aged and older adults: The Health and Retirement Study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 30(3), 284–291. doi:10.1002/gps.4139

Canham, S.L. (2015). What’s loneliness got to do with it? Older women’s use of benzodiazepines. Australasian Journal of Ageing, 34(1), E7-E12. doi:10.1111/ajag.12133

Canham, S.L., & Rubinstein, R.L. (2015). Experiences of sleep and benzodiazepine use among older women: A qualitative study. Journal of Women & Aging, 27(2), 123-139. doi:10.1080/08952841.2014.928173

Canham, S.L., Mahmood, A., Stott, S., Sixsmith, J., & O’Rourke, N. (2014). ‘Till divorce do us part: Marriage dissolution in later life. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(8), 591–612. doi:10.1080/10502556.2014.959097

Canham, S.L., Gallo, J., & Simoni-Wastila, L. (2014). Perceptions of benzodiazepine dependence among women age 65 and older. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 57(8), 872–888. doi:10.1080/01634372.2014.901470