Barbara Mitchell

Professor of Gerontology and Sociology
Sociology & Anthropology | Gerontology


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 SociologyCanadian Review of Sociology and AnthropologySociological PerspectivesFamily RelationsJournal of Family IssuesJournal of Marriage and FamilyInternational Journal of Aging and Human DevelopmentJournal of Women and AgingCanadian Journal on Aging, and Canadian Studies in Population.


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

Areas of Interest

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

Select Publications


Peer-Reviewed Articles,
Funding and Awards

  • See Curriculum Vitae link for full details.

Public Sociology/Media

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 a more comprehensive list).