GERO 300: Introduction to Gerontology

For further assistance with your assignment, you can contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology at 778.782.5043 or, Monday (wfh) to Thursday . For quick research help, please Ask a Librarian

Course description

"Examination of the aging process from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Physical and health factors in aging, economic and vocational factors in aging, family and community relations of older people, social policy and politics of aging. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on normal aging." [Note: for more information see the  GERO 300 Distance Course Outline and page in Canvas. If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Term paper research resources

Start Your Research Here  SFU guide to researching and writing a term paper

    Background information (or: Better than Wikipedia!)

    Reference works such as encyclopedias are a great place to start to get an overview of a topic.  Entries are written by experts in the field, and often there is a useful bibliography. Click on the "online" link and then sign in to access these titles:

    The Encyclopedia of Gerontology (online
    Entries on most paper topics, such as:  Caregiving and Caring; Frail Elderly;  Abuse and Neglect of Elders; Living Arrangements; Aging in Place;  Exercise;  Slowing of Aging, for longevity, with related topics

    Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology (online)
    Entries such as: "Literature and ageing"; "Ageing in Film"; "Representations of ageing in the media"
    In addition, Chapter 32 covers  Loneliness and isolation

    Handbook of aging and the social sciences (online)
    See: Chapter 7 - Immigration, Aging, and the Life Course; Chapter 15 -Aging, Neighborhoods, and the Built Environment; Chapter 16 - Abusive Relationships in Late Life; Chapter 18  - End-of-Life Planning and Health Care

    Encyclopedia of Ageism (online)
    Entry: "Children's literature" (See also this useful ERIC article on children' literature) .  Other entries "Hollywood", "Advertising", etc.

    See also: Persona project resources for more useful publications

    Finding journal articles


    Gerontology Databases
    for finding journal articles

    Ageline Major social-gerontology database -- start here for most paper topics.  
    For search tips see the guide An Introduction to the Ageline database  

    Sample search terms and combined searches: Dementia AND (Human Factors Engineering OR Home Modification) ; Exercise AND Quality of Life; Aging in Place; Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities; Assisted Living Facilities

    Use the Ageline Thesaurus is for for finding subject terms.  For instance, to find articles covering a particular methodology, click on the Thesaurus link at the top of the page, and type in: Research Techniques to find all the different types of research methods covered in Ageline, e.g.  Randomized Controlled Trials. 

    CINAHL Complete The major nursing and allied health database for readable articles on medical topics.
    Sample keyword search: "successful aging".  Sample subject term: Frail Elderly. Can Limit results by age group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older)

    PsycINFO The major psychology database.   See their Quick Reference Guide
    Sample Subject term: Reminiscence.  Limit results by age group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older) .

    Education Source 
    For the topic of portrayal of older people in children's literature, start with databases and use a  combined search such as: Old age in literature and child*

    MLA bibliography 
    For the topic of portrayal of older people in the media, start with databases and use a search such as: (elderly or aging or old age) AND  (film or television)

    Academic Search Premier
    a nice, general database for finding articles, not gerontology based.  Start with Subject term: Older People and then narrow down for your topic



    To determine which articles are empirical studies when you are in a database, look under the Subjects listed for each article, such as Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis, etc.

    If the assignment asks you for peer-reviewed journal articles, Limit your search to either "Peer reviewed" or "Academic journals", depending on the database.
    (For more information, see the FAQ What is a peer-reviewed journal?)

    See also: Moving from Citation to Article SFU guide on how to find the article once you've searched a database


    Research tip: Looking though one scholarly monograph is much faster than reading several journal articles. 

    • Aging and Society: Canadian perspectives [print]
    • Aging as a social process: Canadian perspectives [print]
    • Aging in contemporary Canada [print]    
    • Aging: Concepts and controversies [print]
    • Grandparents : Archetypal and clinical perspectives on grandparent-grandchild relationships [online] Chapter 3  "Images of age in narratives"
    • Designing homes for people with dementia [print]

    To find books, search SFU Catalogue
    Search tips in SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide

    Sample Catalogue subject headings

    Specific research topics

    Age-friendly cities  see: Aging and the City topic page

    Death and dying see: GERO 406 Term paper resources for end of life issues

    For more information see:  Further Gerontology resources 

    Term paper writing links and help

    How to do an outline

    Creating an Outline - Douglas College Learning Commons

    Outlining UMKC Writing Studio

    If you've already written your paper (!) you can use Reverse Outlining Duke University

    Literature review

      Literature Review Outline: What You Need to Get Started

      Guidelines for writing a literature review
      Step-by-step guide to writing a literature review

      The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It
      List of questions that will prompt you to create critical literature reviews

      Literature Review Template
      Template for creating an "objective, critical summary of published research literature"

      Literature Reviews
      UNC guide that provides instructions and strategies, including ways to organize 


      Writing help

       Student learning Commons  -- SFU service that "provides learning and writing support services" such as:

        Persona project resources

        Start with:

        Report on Health and Aging in Canada (2018) Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) 
        Covers retirement, social engagement, caregiving, health,  LGBTQ (CLSA uses term "LGB"), and more

        Fact book on Aging in B.C. and Canada (7th Edition, 2019)
        Statistical overview, published by the Gerontology Research Centre at SFU

        Older adults and population aging statistics Statistics Canada
        Health, housing and income, and many other topics


        BC Housing
        Website for provincial organization that "develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province"; see page for Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)

        Canadian Housing and Mortgage Authority (CMHC)
        "Canada’s authority on housing"; see section Aging in Place 

        Guide to Seniors Housing in Canada A Place for Mom
        Includes descriptions of housing types and support for aging in place

        How to participate online