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 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) or Monday 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.]


Term paper resources

Organizing and writing your paper:

Start Your Research Here
for an overview of the research process
In brief:  Select your topic;  Identify sources and research tools;  Search for and find your articles and books;  Evaluate Steps; Write and cite

See also: "How to research a term paper" in the appendix  of Harry Moody's classic work Aging: Concepts and controversies [print] for gerontology-specific research

In addition:

Writing for University (from the Library's Student learning Commons aka SLC)
sections on choosing a topic, drafting papers and self-editing.  Example: How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

Additional help:  WriteAway service for SFU students: "Qualified tutors...provide feedback on students' draft writing assignments." Lead time is a minimum of three days for this popular, BC-wide service

Consultations (SLC)
including one-on-one writing consultations and option for online consultations

Citing your resources: Gerontology uses the APA style: APA citation guide should cover the types of resources

Assignment Calculator (SLC) Determine when should you start your term paper research and writing, and how long would it take

Background Information

For topic overviews, defining key terms, and suggested useful resources:


Family Ties and Aging  [print and online]
Sample chapters/sections: "Sibling relationships" ; "Childless older persons" ; "partner transitions and step-ties" 

Handbook of families and aging [print or online]
Sample chapter: "Ethnic and cultural diversity"; "Elder abuse in aging families"

Handbook of sociology of aging [online]
Sample chapter: "Intergenerational Relations in Later-Life Families" covers conflict

Gerontechnology : understanding older adult information and communication technology use [online and print]
Technology:descriptions of different types of older adult ICT users



    Journal articles:


    How to find journal articles beyond the Library Search box
    Power searching and Boolean searching for the catalogue, but applies to searching databases too
    How can I read the fulltext of an article?  From Article to Citation - consult this guide to obtain a journal article from an article citation or reference
    For more details about journals, see the guide What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal?

    Finally, a general search string: seniors OR elderly OR "older persons" OR "older adults" OR "older people" OR gerontolog* OR aging

    To find journal articles for your term paper, start with one of these databases:

    The major social gerontology database - start with this database for most class topics
    Sample Subject search terms: Intergenerational relationships ; Family relationships ; Pets ; Boomerang children ; Dying etc.
    sample search phrase: "Family relationships" AND (technology or social media  or internet)
    Note: Ageline doesn't use the term "peer-reviewed" so you can Limit your results to "Academic Journals"

    Sociological Abstracts includes "marriage and family studies"
    Sample Subject terms: Elderly ; Family Relations ;
    Can limit  results to "Peer reviewed"

    Humanities and Social Sciences Index (HSSI)
    Sample Subject term: Older people -- Family relationships
    Can limit  results to "Peer reviewed"

    CBCA Complete
    Canadian content. News and popular magazine articles as well as academic journal articles. Sample Subject: Aging
    You can Limit results to "peer reviewed" articles



    Sample subject headings:

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

    Other useful sites


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

    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

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

    Back to Gerontology information resources