Western University SociologyFaculty of Social Science
Rachel Margolis

Photo by Rob Rombouts

Rachel Margolis, Associate 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 pdf
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)  "Aging alone? Older Adults without Close Kin in the United States" (with Ashton M. Verdery) The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

(forthcoming) "Healthy Grandparenthood: How long is it and how is it changing?" (with Laura Wright) Demography

(forthcoming) "Educational Attainment, Gender, and Health Behavior Changes after a Gateway Diagnosis" (with Elaine Hernandez and Robert Hummer) Journal of Aging and Health

(2017) "Emerging Adulthood, Emergent Health Lifestyles: Sociodemographic Determinants of Trajectories of Smoking, Binge Drinking, Obesity and Sedentary Behavior" (with Jonathan Daw and Laura Wright) Journal of Health and Social Behavior

(2016) "Older Adults with Three Generations of Kin: Prevalence, Correlates and Transfers" (with Laura Wright) Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences

(2016) "Children’s Sex and the Happiness of Parents" (with Mikko Myrskylä) European Journal of Population 32(3): 403-420.

(2016) "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 42(3): 491-517.

(2016) "The Changing Demography of Grandparenthood" Journal of Marriage and Family 78(3): 610-622.

(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 71(4):687-697.

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

(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.

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

(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) "Educational Differences in Healthy Behavior Changes and Adherence Among Middle-Aged Americans" Journal of Health and Social Behavior 54(3): 353-368. *Winner of the Etienne Van de Walle Prize

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

(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.


2180A-001 Development & Health Inequalities

2180B-001 Development & Health Inequalities

4441B-001 Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis

9007A-001 (Advanced) Multivariate Statistical Analysis

9331B-001 Population Research Methods

Thesis Supervision

Supervisory Status:  MA, PhD

PhD Thesis

Laura Wright (2015 completed) " Early Adult Transitions in Canada: Expectations, Stability, and Change"

MA Thesis

Bryce Stoliker (2016 completed) " Victimization, Stress, and Psychological Well-being: An Analysis of the 2009 Canadian Victimization Survey"

Natalie Iciaszczyk (2016 completed) " Social Connectedness, Social Support and the Health of Older Adults: A Comparison of Immigrant and Native-born 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"