GERO 408 Families over the Life Course

For further assistance on library resources and research with your assignment, ask at the Belzberg Library Reference Desk or contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology (778.782.5043 or Monday (wfh) to Thursday .


Course description:

This course entails a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of families and aging. In addition to providing an overview of theory and research in this topic area, a variety of issues are will be examined, including: families in mid-life, sibling relationships, divorce and remarriage, relationships in later life, care-giving, inter-generational relations, elder abuse, end of life concerns, current studies and policy development.[Note: for further information see the GERO 408 page on Canvas. If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Services for Distance Education Students

Consult this guide if you are off campus

Case studies

Most of the information you will need for this assignment is on Canvas. Additional sites:

Being a Critical Thinker: Basic Approaches to Critical Thinking 
SFU's Student Learning Commons (SLC)

Critical Thinking for Critical Writing 

Critical Thinking in University

Term paper

Start Your Research Here
for an overview of the research process

"How to research a term paper"
in the appendix  of Harry Moody's Aging: Concepts and controversies [print]

More help:

Student learning Commons 
"provides learning and writing support services"

Writing for University
(SLC) with sections on choosing a topic, drafting papers and self-editing

(SLC) section for further assistance

Additional help: SFU is a member of the WriteAway service in BC. It is an "online writing assistance. Qualified tutors from each of the participating institutions staff the service and provide feedback on students' draft writing assignments."

When to start your term paper research and writing?  Check SLC's Assignment Calculator

Books and statistical sources 

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

Family Ties and Aging [print] [ebook on ord]

Handbook of families and aging [print or online]

Handbook of sociology of aging [print and online]

Report on Health and Aging in Canada (2018)
Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)  Covers demography, retirement, social engagement, caregiving, health, lifestyle, transportation and LGB

A portrait of seniors in Canada (2006) 
Older but excellent overview, including charts covering demographics, housing, income, health, education and other characteristics. 

To find books, search SFU online Catalogue; search tips are on SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.

Sample subject headings:


Journal articles:

To find journal articles, start with one of these databases:

The major social gerontology database
Sample Subject terms: Intergenerational relationships ; Family relationships

Sociological Abstracts includes "marriage and family studies"
Sample Subject term: Elderly

Humanities and Social Sciences Index (HSSI)
Sample Subject term: Older people -- Family relationships

From Article to Citation - consult this guide to obtain a journal article from an article citation or reference.


Other sites


Keeping a learning log
BBC's Key Skills

Sample learning Log 
University of Leeds

See also: Sociology Information Resources
SFU guide for research in Sociology