University of Calgary

Alex Bierman

  • Professor

Office Hours

(Jan 14 - Apr 14)
(Jan 14 - Apr 14)

Recent Grants

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2022-2025.  Financial Strain and Mental Health in Canadian Older Adults.  $ 77,001.  (Alex Bierman, P.I.).

New Frontiers in Research Fund - Exploration, 2022-2024.  Examining the Current Canadian Social Context of Prenatal Cannabis Consumption and Intersections with Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes..  $ 250,000.  (Co-Investigator with Kathleen Chaput, P.I).

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2020-2025.  Distributive Justice in Canada.  $382,940.  (Collaborator with Scott Schieman and Atsushi Narisada, co-P.I.’s).

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2018-2023.  The Complexity of the Caregiving Outcomes: Understanding the Role of Social Statuses and Social Resourcesand Resources.  $65,410.  (Co-Investigator with Yeonjung Lee, P.I.).


Alex Bierman’s research is centered on the study of aging and health, but encompasses a number of additional topics, including social psychology, religion, military sociology, and the family.  This research is united by an interest in how social inequality conditions both exposure to stress and the consequences of stress as individuals age.  Dr. Bierman frequently utilizes advanced methods of longitudinal data analysis in these studies as a means of facilitating a rigorous understanding of the causes and consequences of stress exposure across the life-course.

Dr. Bierman's research has been published in a number of prominent outlets, including journals dedicated to health (Journal of Health and Social Behavior; Social Science and Medicine; Society and Mental Health), aging (The Gerontologist; Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences), religion (Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; Sociology of Religion), and social psychology (Social Psychology Quarterly).  He also co-edited the second edition of the Handbook of Sociology of Mental Health with Carol Aneshensel and Jo Phelan, and this volume currently has over 450,000 chapter downloads world-wide.  Beginning in 2022, Dr. Bierman will be co-editor of the journal Society and Mental Health, which is published under the aegis of the American Sociological Association and sponsored by the ASA’s Section on the Sociology of Mental Health.

Currently, Dr. Bierman leads the Caregiving, Aging, and Financial Experiences (CAFE) Study. The CAFE Study is a national longitudinal survey of over 4,000 Canadian older adults between 2021 and 2022 that examines how caregiving and financial conditions influence the mental health of Canadian older adults.  Social psychology plays a central role in this study, as it examines how attitudes about one’s self and social relationships--including self-esteem, mastery, mattering, and loneliness--intercede in the mental health effects of caregiving and financial stress.  Furthermore, the CAFE Study examines a number of religious beliefs in more detail than is common in research on Canadian older adults.  This includes whether people believe that they have a supportive relationship with a higher power or believe that a higher power influences their lives.  The CAFE Study is, therefore, able to examine the potential mental health ramifications of religious beliefs in much more detail than in previous research on Canadian older adults.  The CAFE Study is funded by an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, with Dr. Bierman as Principal Investigator.

For a complete list of Dr. Bierman's publications, please download his CV, which can be found on the right side of this web page.

Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD - Sociology
    Maryland University, 2007
  • MA - Sociology
    Maryland University, 2002
  • BS - Religious Studies (with honors) and Psychology
    University of Oregon, 1997


  • 2007 - Family Division Graduate Student Paper Competition Award - Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • 2007 - Robert Janes Award for Outstanding Graduate Student - University of Maryland Sociology Faculty
  • 2005 - Irene B. Tauber Graduate Student Paper Award - District of Columbia Sociological Society
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