University of Calgary

Yeonjung Lee

  • Associate Professor
  • Comparative Welfare States
  • Gerontology
  • International Social Work
  • Long-Term Care
  • Mental Health

Research Interests

Currently Teaching


Yeonjung Lee joined the Faculty of Social Work as an Assistant Professor in 2014. Before joining the Faculty, she taught MSW and BSW level courses such as research methods and health policy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Lee’s research focuses on how to improve the quality of life for older adults, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Along these lines, one of her work examines the impact of family caregiving on the economic and health outcomes of older adults caregivers. Regarding these research agenda, Lee is interested in conducting research both at the individual level within a country and using a cross-national/cultural comparative study.

Research and Scholarly Activity

Lee’s current research activities include the following:

  • Outcomes of Caregiving for Older Adults

This project examines the economic and health outcomes of family caregiving for older adults and the moderating factors to affect these relationships.

  • Aging-in-place and Long-term Care in Later Life

This project examines what makes aging-in-place possible and how older adults with chronic health conditions and impairment can be better served at the home- and community-based settings.

  • Aging in Poverty and Wealth Inequality in Later Life

This project studies older adults who is living in poverty and its risk factor; and the predictors for wealth inequality in later life.

  • Psychosocial Risk Factors for Dementia

This project conducts a literature review about psychosocial risk factors for dementia.

Current Research

  • Principal Investigator. The Complexity of the Caregiving Outcomes: Understanding the Role of Social Statues and Social Resources. (Insight Development Grant via SSHRC, 2018-2020)
  • Principal Investigator. Communities of Concern for Older Adults in Calgary: Accessibility and Resiliency (2018-2020)
  • Co-Principal Investigator. Living in Korea after the Financial Crisis in 1997: A Re-examination of Welfare Regime and Trajectory of Life Course in Multi-dimensional Perspective (National Research Foundation of Korea, 2016-2018)
  • Co-Principal Investigator. Exploring Inquiry-Based Learning in Social Work Education on an International Level (Teaching & Learning Grant via University Calgary, 2016-2018)
  • Co-Principal Investigator. Exploring Inquiry-Based Leaning in Undergraduate Social Work Education: A Mixed Methods Study (Teaching Development Grant via University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work, 2018-2020)
  • Co-Investigator. Examining the Financial Conditions of Older Racialized Immigrants in Alberta (University Research Grants Committee Seed Grant via University of Calgary, 2018-2020)
  • Co-Investigator. Enhancing Gerontology Curriculum in the Faculty of Social Work (University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work, 2017-2018)
  • Co-Investigator. Bridging the University/Community Divide: Exploring Ways to Implement Practice-Based Research (Teaching & Learning Grant via University Calgary, 2018-2020)
  • Collaborator. Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Families and a Good Old Age? (Kule Institute for Advanced Studies via University of Alberta, 2016-2019).


PhD, Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, USA

MSW, Social Welfare (social policy track), Chung-Ang University, KOREA

BSW, Social Welfare, Chung-Ang University, KOREA

Professional and Community Associations

  • Alberta College of Social Workers, Member
  • Canadian Association on Aging, Member
  • Gerontological Society of America, Member
  • American Society on Aging, Member
  • Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Full Member
  • O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Member
  • World Health Organizations’ Global Aging Working Group, Member
  • Hartford Gerontological Social Work Leaders: Productive Engagement Group, Member
  • Calgary Korean Scholarship Foundation, Board Member
  • Alberta Association on Gerontology, Board Member
  • Federal of Korean Canadian Seniors Association, Advisor


  • Faculty Publication Award (2016) (2017) (2018)
  • RAND Summer Institute on Aging Scholarship (2015). Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Travel Awards (2015). Institute Community Support via Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Media Work

Fox News, “Caring for aging parents leads to negative financial cycle for some, study suggests”.

Reuters, “Financial vicious cycle traps poor women caregivers”.   

The New York Times, “Work, women and caregiving”.

Slate Magazine, “Women are more likely to care for aging parents and drop out of the workforce to do it”.

Publications from 2011-Present


  • Lee, Y., & Penning, M. (in press). The determinants of informal, formal, and mixed in-home care in the Canadian Context. Journal of Aging and Health.
  • Kaushik, V., Lee, Y., & Lemon, E. (in press). Diversity in Canada: Predictors of the perceptions of social interactions. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment.
  • Bierman, A., Lee, Y., & Schieman, S. (in press). Chronic discrimination and sleep problems in late life: Religious involvement as buffer. Research on Aging. DOI: 10.1177/0164027518766422
  • Lee, Y., & Bierman, A. (in press). Loneliness as mediator of perceived discrimination and depression: Examining education contingencies. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
  • Kaufman, J., Lee, Y., Gallo, W., Vaughon, W., & Unuigbe, A. (in press). Depression associated with transitions into and out of spousal caregiving. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
  • Lee, Y., Barken, R., & Gonzales, E. (in press). Utilization of formal and informal home care: How do older Canadians’ experiences vary by care arrangements? Journal of Applied Gerontology.
  • Lee, Y., & Bierman, A. (in press). A longitudinal assessment of perceived discrimination and maladaptive expressions of anger among older adults: Does subjective social power buffer the association? The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw110
  • Bierman, A., & Lee, Y. (2018). Chronic pain and psychological distress among older adults: A national longitudinal study. Research on Aging, 40(5), 432-455. 
  • Vaughon, W., Lee, Y., Gallo, W., Kaufman, J., & Unuigbe, A. (2018). Association between falls and caregiving tasks among informal caregivers: Data from the Canadian Community Health Study. Canadian Journal on Aging, 37(1), 70-75.
  • Bierman, A., Lee, Y., & Schieman, S. (2018). Neighborhood disorder and sleep problems in older Adults: Subjective social power as mediator and moderator. The Gerontologist, 58(1), 170-180.
  • Unuigbe, A., Lee, Y., Gallo, W., Kaufman, J., & Vaughon, W. (2017). Differential changes in health measures by caregiving status: Hierarchical models. Work, Aging and Retirement, 3(4), 393-402.
  • Pan, X., Lee, Y., Dye, C., & Roley, L. (2017). Financial care for older adults with dementia: Characteristics of adult children caregivers. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 85(1), 108-222. doi: 10.1177/0091415016685327
  • Gonzales, E., Lee, Y., & Brown, C. (2017). Back to work? Not everyone. Examining the longitudinal relationships between informal caregiving and paid-work after formal retirement. The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(3), 532-539. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv095 
  • Lee, Y., Tang, F., Kim, K. H., & Albert, S. (2015). The vicious cycle of parental caregiving and financial well-being: A longitudinal study of women. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 70(3), 425-431. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu001
  • Lee, Y., & Tang, F. (2015). More caregiving, less working: Caregivers roles and gender differences. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 34(4), 465-483. doi: 10.1177/0733464813508649
  • Lee, Y., Tang, F., Kim, K. H., & Albert, S. (2015). Exploring the gender differences in the relationships between eldercare and labor force participation in the U.S.: A longitudinal approach. Canadian Journal on Aging, 34(1), 14-25. doi:10.1017/S0714980814000543
  • Lee, Y., & Zurlo, K. A. (2014). Spousal caregiving and financial strain among mid-aged and older adults. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 79(4), 302-321. doi: 10.1177/0091415015574181
  • Kim, B., Auh, E., Lee, Y., & Ann, J. (2013). The impact of social capital on depression among older Chinese and Korean immigrants: Similarities and differences. Aging & Mental Health, 17(7), 844-852.
  • Tang, F., & Lee, Y. (2011). Social support networks and expectations for aging in place and moving. Research on Aging, 33(4), 444-464. doi: 10.1177/0164027511400631


Powered by UNITIS. More features.