University of Calgary

Yeonjung Lee

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

Research Interests



Health, Mental Health and Wellness:

Currently Teaching

 W2025 - SOWK 518 - Gerontological Social Work


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.

§  Communities of Concern for Older Adults                                                                                                                                     

This project identifies the communities of concerns for older adults in Calgary in terms of physical and social accessibilities.


§  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.



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)
  • Principal Investigator. Identifying the Communities of Concerns for Older Adults: A Case Study of Calgary. (SSHRC Exchange Partnership Seed Grant via University of Calgary, 2019-2020)
  • 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-Applicant. Digital Storytelling and Dementia Care for Intergenerational, Racialized and Immigrant Families in Calgary. (O’Brien Institute for Public Health Research Catalyst Funds, 2019-2021)
  • Co- Applicant. Bridging the University/Community Divide: Exploring Ways to Implement Practice-Based Research (Teaching & Learning Grant via University Calgary, 2018-2020) 


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
  • Society for Social Work and Research, 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
  • Federal of Korean Canadian Seniors Association, Advisor


  • Faculty Publication Award (2016) (2017) (2018) (2019)
  • 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 2014-Present

  1. Li, L. & Lee, Y. (accepted). Caregiving choice and caregiver-receiver relation: Effects on psychological wellbeing of family caregivers in Canada. Canadian Journal on Aging. 
  2. Archer-Kuhn, B., Lee, Y., Finnessey, S., & Liu, K. (accepted). Inquiry-based learning as a facilitator to student engagement in higher education. Teaching & Learning Inquiry. 
  3. Lee, Y., & Bierman, A. (in press). Loneliness as mediator of perceived discrimination and depression: Examining education contingencies. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
  4. Li, L. & Lee, Y. (in press). Employment adjustment and mental health of employed family caregivers in Canada. Aging & Mental Health, 31(9), 1692-1714.
  5. 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.
  6. Lee, Y. (2019). Employment and caregiving. In: Gu D., Dupre M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging. Springer, Cham.
  7. Lee, Y., & Penning, M. (2019). The determinants of informal, formal, and mixed in-home care in the Canadian Context. Journal of Aging and Health.
  8. Kaushik, V., Lee, Y., & Lemon, E. (2018). Diversity in Canada: Predictors of the perceptions of social interactions. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 28(7), 840-855.
  9. Bierman, A., Lee, Y., & Schieman, S. (2018). Chronic discrimination and sleep problems in late life: Religious involvement as buffer. Research on Aging, 40(10), 933-955. DOI: 10.1177/0164027518766422
  10. Kaufman, J., Lee, Y., Gallo, W., Vaughon, W., & Unuigbe, A. (2018). Depression associated with transitions into and out of spousal caregiving. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 88(2), 127-149.
  11. Lee, Y., & Bierman, A. (2018). 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, 73(8), e120-e130. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw110
  12. Bierman, A., & Lee, Y. (2018). Chronic pain and psychological distress among older adults: A national longitudinal study. Research on Aging, 40(5), 432-455. 
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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 
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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


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