Population Change and Lifecourse

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2012 Projects


Graduate Research Development Conference - University of Victoria, June 2013

A one-day student workshop will be held immediately prior to the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Population Society at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Victoria, British Columbia, in June 2013. Approximately 10 graduate students will present papers on topics along population change and the life course. These students will be matched with one or two members of the Canadian Population Society who specialize in the subject matter of the paper. In addition to providing students with valuable presentation skills, participation in this workshop will also allow for students to interact with experts in Canadian demography. Both the experts as well as the general public will gain an understanding of the areas of demographic studies which are of interest to students and the directions that these interests are taking. This workshop will aid in creating knowledge mobilization networks among students and members of the Canadian Population Society, and in increasing the level of interaction between the newer and the more established researchers in demography.

Team Leader: Md Kamrul Islam, University of Alberta, Stacey Hallman, Western University, Georgios Fthenos, Western University
Cluster support for the project: $14,800

Workshop on Aging Families - University of Victoria, June 3-4, 2013

The purpose of this workshop is to foster knowledge about the interface between population aging and family relations and well-being. Researchers are invited to submit papers that advance our knowledge about how population aging is redefining intergenerational relationships, creating tensions and problems within families, and the institutional responses that help aging families cope with these challenges. Potential thematic topics include: family structure and social support in late life; caregiving and caregiver burden; intergenerational transfers and reciprocity; the well-being and social integration of the elderly; and co-residential living arrangements. Given that aging families are heterogamous, the workshop organizers welcome submissions that address the challenges of aging families for women, low-income groups, and different ethnic/racial groups in and outside Canada. This workshop will be organized in partnership with the Centre on Aging at the University of Victoria.

Project Proponent: Zheng Wu, University of Victoria
Cluster support for the project: $20,000

Conference on “International Perspectives on Family Structures and Child Well-being”

McGill University, November 30 - December 1, 2012

Families are universal institutions, which play a central role in ensuring the health and well-being of children. Yet, they exhibit remarkable fluidity over time and considerable variation across different social and cultural settings. Our conference will explore how changes in children’s family structures over their early life course impact the well-being of children, particularly, their physical health, mental well-being, and educational attainment. To promote a vibrant exchange of ideas, we will examine the relationship between family structures and child well-being in two strikingly different social, economic, cultural, and familial contexts: North America and sub-Saharan Africa. Our theoretical framework for this conference draws heavily on one of the main principles of the life course theory, “linked lives,” which emphasizes the interdependence and interconnectedness of lives particularly through bonds of kinship. Within this broader life course perspective, we will bring together research from two thematic areas of the PCLC Cluster: (1) families and (2) health over the life course.

Project Team: Shelley Clark (Lead) ), Céline Le Bourdais and Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, McGill University
Cluster support for the project: $12,350

Reducing the Economic Costs of Family/Friend Care: Engaging Stakeholders

The project mobilizes knowledge created as part of the HRSDC-funded research program titled “The Economic Costs of Care”. This program comprises five conceptual and empirical projects that, collectively, are generating new knowledge about the incidence and magnitude of the economic costs of family/friend caregiving; who are the caregivers most at risk of experiencing such costs; and what actions are being taken by Canadian employers to mitigate the costs. The overall program objective is to inform policy development and reform human resource management practice, including development of “best practice” guidelines for employers. This knowledge mobilization initiative is intended to address mainly the latter objective, reaching out to employers and human resource managers. The employer roundtables have been useful to employers and their employees. However, only a small segment of the potential audience is being reached. Busy senior executives who participate must make a substantial time commitment. This project's three strategies, (1) Bilingual Webinar Series, (2) Companion Podcasts & Audio Recordings, and (3) Companion Presentations & Reports, will considerably extend the reach and allow executives to access the information in a manner that best suits their needs and availability.

Project Team:

  • Janet Fast (Lead), University of Alberta
  • Donna Lero, University of Guelph
  • Nora Spinks, Vanier Institute of the Family
  • Norah Keating, University of Alberta
  • Karen Duncan, University of Manitoba
  • Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, University of Québec à Montréal
  • Jacquie Eales, University of Alberta.

Cluster support for the project: $7,520

Outward and Upward Mobilities: Families from South Korea in a Transnational Era

International Workshop, York University

The main goal of this project is to situate our understanding of transnational families from South Korea in Canada, and their integration experiences within a broader social, political, economic and institutional context. This will be achieved through a two-day international workshop to be held at York University in September 2012, where we expect to disseminate research results from SSHRC-funded research projects with principal investigators Ann Kim at the Centre for Asian Research, York University, and Eunjung Lee at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. The workshop will include participation of internationally recognized as well as junior scholars who do research on Korean diaspora and transnational families. A second objective is to engage in an intellectual exchange on the most current research and knowledge on the topic, and to examine it from multiple disciplinary angles. A third objective is to develop a research agenda and explore potential opportunities for international collaboration. Scholars, graduate students, and community members from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea have been invited and have confirmed their participation.

Cluster support for the project: $7,312

Research Synthesis and Policy Brief: "Female baby boomers head into retirement: Are they ready?"

The project team consisting of Lori J Curtis, Kathleen Rybczynski, and a graduate student, all from the Department of Economics of the University of Waterloo, proposes to write a synthesis paper and a policy brief, aimed at summarizing research on the topic of the ‘retirement’ of female baby boomers. The synthesis will focus on whether female baby boomers are expected to have adequate incomes and health insurance as they move into ‘retirement age’ and then ‘old age’. The literature search will begin with the inclusion of the 15 articles contained in the Canadian Public Policy special issue in 2008 on ‘Private Pensions and Income Security in Old Age: An Uncertain Future’ and the relevant current research on poverty, risk tolerance, and health insurance coverage in retirement. For additional research on the topics, a broad search of academic databases, the grey literature, and the internet will be completed. The literature will be summarized to answer the question ‘Are female baby boomers ready for retirement?’ The reasons why they are or are not ready will be explored with particular attention to demographic and life course patterns that may have been responsible for the (in)ability of this group, on average, to prepare for retirement. The implications for policy will then be discussed and future research directions will be explored.

Cluster support for the project: $10,000
Discussion Paper: Are Female Baby Boomers Ready for Retirement