Western University SociologyFaculty of Social Science
Rachel Margolis

Photo taken by: Eric Simard

Rachel Margolis, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Demography and Sociology (2011) University of Pennsylvania
M.A. Demography (2007) University of Pennsylvania
M.Sc. LSE (2005) Population and Development, London School of Economics
B.A. Government (2004) Cornell University

Full CV
Personal website


Rachel Margolis' research addresses how family dynamics shape population change in developed countries. She works in the following areas: demography, fertility and family change, population aging, population health and well-being, and medical sociology.

Her current research topics include:
(1) The changing demography of grandparenthood and kinship structures in aging societies
(2) Fertility dynamics in the context of low and late fertility
(3) Health behavior changes and trajectories and their implications for population health

Recent Publications

(forthcoming) "Kin Count(s): Educational and Racial Differences in Extended Kin Counts in the United States" (with Jonathan Daw and Ashton M. Verdery), Population and Development Review

(2015) "The Changing Health of Canadian Grandparents" (with Natalie Iciaszczyk), Canadian Studies in Population 42(3-4): 63-76.

(2015) "Better Off Alone Than With a Smoker: The Influence of Partner’s Smoking Behavior in Later Life" (with Laura Wright), Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbu220

(2015) "Parental Well-being Surrounding First Birth as a Determinant of Further Parity Progression" (with Mikko Myrskylä), Demography 52(4): 1147-1166.

(2015) "Siblings, Friends, Course-mates, Club-mates: How Adolescent Health Behavior Homophily Varies by Race, Class, Gender, and Health Status" (with Jonathan Daw, and Ashton M. Verdery), Social Science & Medicine 125:32-39

(2014) "Happiness: Before and After the Kids" (with Mikko Myrskylä) Demography. 51(5): 1843-1866.

(2014) "Changes in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in Canada between 1994 and 2007" (with Scott Mandich) Canadian Studies in Population. 41(1-2):192-208.

(2013) "Health Shocks in the Family: Gender Differences in Smoking Changes" Journal of Aging and Health 25(5):882-903.

(2013) "Educational Differences in Healthy Behavior Changes and Adherence Among Middle-Aged Americans" Journal of Health and Social Behavior 54(3). *Winner of the Etienne Van de Walle Prize

(2013) "Family, money, and health: Regional differences in the determinants of life satisfaction over the life course" Advances in Life Course Research 18(2):115-126.

(2011) "A Global Perspective on Happiness and Fertility" (with Mikko Myrskylä) Population and Development Review 37(1): 29-56.

(2010) "Childhood Morbidity and Health in Early Adulthood: Life course linkages in a high morbidity context" Advances in Life Course Research 15(4):132-146.

(2009) "Perceptions of Neighborhood Disorder: The Role of Individual and Neighborhood Characteristics" (with Irma T. Elo, Laryssa Mykyta, and Jennifer F. Culhane) Social Science Quarterly 90(5):1298-1320.


On leave 2015-16.

Thesis Supervision

Supervisory Status:  MA, PhD

PhD Thesis

Laura Wright (2015 completed) "Early adult transitions in Canada: Expectations, stability, and change"

MA Thesis

Natalie Iciaszczyk (2015 in progress) "The Effect of Social Connectedness and Social Support on Mental and Physical Health among Elderly Canadians"

MA Research Paper

Sasha Koba (2015 completed) "The Immigrant Health Advantage in Canada: Lessened by six health determinants"

Annie Gong (2013 completed, jointly supervised with William Avison) "Retirees' Participation in Bridge Employment and Psychological Distress: The Mediating and Moderating Effects of Social Support"