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Andrea Willson

Photo by Rob Rombouts

Andrea Willson, Associate Professor


Ph.D Sociology, Florida State U. pdf Full CV
Certificate in Gerontology, Florida State U.
M.S. Sociology, Virginia Tech
B.A. Communication Studies, Virginia Tech

Recent Activities

July 16 11:30 presented "Cumulative Advantage and Health Inequalities" at the ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto

In the News

June 21, 2018 "Sociology professor and student trace the lasting impact of experiences" Western Social Science News and Updates


  • 3306B - 001 Investigating the Social World: Quantitative Research
  • 9003A - 650 Research Design
  • 9268B - 650 Social Inequalities in Health

Thesis Supervision


Andrea Willson's research interests include studies of social inequality over the life course, particularly social disparities in health. Her current research investigates the cumulative processes linking socioeconomic status to health over the life course and across generations.

Member,  The Canadian Coalition Against LGBTQ+ Poverty

Recent Publications (Past 5 Years)
>for more see pdf Full CV

Book Chapters

(2016) "Poverty, Income, and Wealth across the Life Course" (with N. Etherington) in M. Harrington Meyer and E.A. Daniele (eds.) Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions , Praeger.

(2016) “Disability and Social Inequality in Canada” (with K. Shuey and K. Bouchard) in E. Grabb and N. Guppy (eds.) Social Inequality in Canada: Dimensions of Disadvantage , 6 th Edition, Oxford University Press.

(2015) “Health Inequalities among Older Adults in Developed Countries: Reconciling Theories and Policy Approaches” (with A. Quesnel-Vallee and S. Reiter-Campeau) in L. George and K. Ferraro (eds.) Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences , 8th Edition, NY: Academic Press.

Refereed Journal Publications

(2019) "The Childhood Roots of Adult Psychological Distress: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Toward a Better Understanding of Exposure to Cumulative Childhood Adversity" (with Loanna Heidinger) Child Abuse & Neglect 97(2019): 104136.

(2018) "A Longitudinal Analysis of the Intergenerational Transmission of Health Inequality" (with Kim Shuey) Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences 74(1): 181-191.

(2017) "Trajectories of Work Disability and Economic Insecurity Approaching Retirement" (with Kim Shuey) Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences 74(7): 1200-1210.

(2016) "Heterogeneity in Chronic Disease Outcomes among Women and Men in Midlife: Examining the Role of Stability and Change in Childhood Economic Hardship" (with Nicole Etherington and Kim Shuey) Longitudinal and Life Course Studies 7(1): 3-24.

(2016) "Life Course Pathways of Economic Hardship and Mobility and Midlife Trajectories of Health" (with Kim Shuey) Journal of Health and Social Behavior 57(3): 407-22.

(2015) "Patterns of Cumulative Abuse Among Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Links to Women’s Health and Socioeconomic Status" (with Lorraine Davies, Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Colleen Varcoe, Judith Wuest, Jacquelyn Campbell and Kelly Scott-Storey) Violence Against Women 21(1): 30-48.

Thesis Supervision

Supervisory Status:  MA, PhD

PhD Thesis

Currently supervising Samantha Skinner, Caregiving for Children with Disabilities

Loanna Heidinger, The Impact of Cumulative Childhood Adversity on Attainment and Trajectories of Mental Health.

Nicole Etherington, Gender and Health Over the Life Course: Temporal, Contextual, and Intersectional Considerations.

Jinette Comeau (jointly supervised with William R. Avison), Children's Mental Health Over the Early Life Course: The Impact of Economic Resources, Neighborhood Disorder, and Family Processes .

Heather Maddocks (co-supervisor with William R. Avison), Underemployment, Employment, and Mental Health.

MA Thesis

Currently supervising Matthew Stackhouse, M.A., Sociology, Canadian Rural Communities and Their Health Behaviors, Health Status and Health Service Use

Caitlin Burd, Students' Perception of Mental Health in a Massified Educational System

Andrew English, Opportunity, Constraint, and Capital in Canadian Ice Hockey

Lisa Zaporzan, Health Implications of the Delayed Transition to Adulthood.

MA Research Papers

Sara Quinn-Hogan, M.A., Sociology, "Divorce and Health: Does Educational Attainment Matter?"

Travis Hackshaw, "The Influence of Parents and Mentors  on Young Adults' Substance Use Behaviours: Evidence from a National Study"

Ashley Gibson, "Understanding the Relationship between Social Support and Health".

Stephen (Cheng-Chi) Lin, "The Socioeconomic Gradient in Health: Do Age and Immigrant Status Matter?"

Samantha Sinka, "Implications for Care Options in Later Life: A Theoretical Analysis of Challenges Experienced by Immigrant Seniors in Canada"