SA 231: Sociology of Families

This guide will provide selected databases for journal articles as well as strategies on how to find books and statistical data on families.

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Sociology / Anthropology by email ( or Ask a librarian.


Start Your Research Here - This page gives you an overview of the research process, or in other words how to find materials for your essay.

Writing the annotated bibliography

Check the SFU Library guide, Annotated bibliographies

University of Toronto's guide provides examples of useful terms to use when creating the annotations: Writing an annotated bibliography

Selected encyclopedias

Use encyclopedias, handbooks or textbook for overviews, definitions, and to identify key authors or concepts.  

Research question

How does divorce affect children in later life?

Identify the main concepts:

1) "Divorce"
2) "children in later life" OR "adult children"

 Keyword combinations

   divorce AND ("children in later life" OR "adult children")

Journal articles

How to find journal articles tutorial

The first three databases (below) will provide articles from sociological and anthropological journals.   If the full-text of the article is not available, use the "Get@SFU" link to find it.

  • Sociological Abstracts - main database for all aspects of sociology
  • Social Sciences Full Text - indexes social sciences journals including sociology and anthropology
  • Anthropology Plus - main database for for all aspects  of anthropology
  • Ageline  for all aspects of "ageing" including eldercare, grandparents
  • PsycInfo -- for "psychological" angle of topics
  • Canada Commons (formerly, Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris) - for public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups.
  • CBCA Complete -  Canadian content. News and popular magazine articles as well as academic journal articles.
      Limit results to "scholarly" articles

For a more complete list of  Sociology databases

Find books in the Library

Library Catalogue search guide

Search the SFU Library Catalogue: Advanced keyword

For the searches below, you can further limit the search results by "Subject" or "Resource type" (such as "books)

Combine different concepts using AND
Combine same concepts using OR
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
Use brackets for synonyms
Use asterisk (*) for different endings of words

Note:  For Catalogue Search, when combining concepts, use CAPITAL letters ( "OR", "AND")

Look at the titles in the "results list" and for those books that look relevant, click on their subject headings.


Selected books

Browse by subject

Browse by subject (change the default "Browse by title" to ""Browse by subject" using the pull-down menu)

Government and statistics

British Columbia


Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is the main statistical agency with responsibility to gather statistical data on Canadians.  Explore their "subject", "data", and "analysis" sections as well as trying keyword searches on your topic.

Use the Search engine to search for topics.

Estimates of the number of census families as of July 1st

             (Formerly CANSIM 051-0055) , Geography: Canada, Province or territory.  Annual estimates of the number of census families on July 1st, Canada,
              provinces and territories. This includes lone parent" families

Portrait of children’s family life in Canada in 2016 (98-200-X2016006) This article in the Census in Brief series describes the family situations of children living in a lone-parent family, in a stepfamily or without their biological or adoptive parents. This document also ...


Census Program


Writing help