Picture of Alex Bierman

Dr. Alex Bierman

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-6226


Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy Sociology, University of Maryland, 2007

M.A. Sociology, University of Maryland, 2002


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 previously co-edited the second edition of the Handbook of Sociology of Mental Health with Carol Aneshensel and Jo Phelan, which has over half a million chapter downloads world-wide.  Currently, Dr. Bierman is co-editor of the journal Society and Mental Health, which is sponsored by the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Mental Health.


Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
SOCI 611 Introduction to the General Linear Model Fall 2023


The Caregiving, Aging, and Financial Experiences Sudy (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. 

The Canadian Quality of Work and Economic Life Study (C-QWELS Study)

The C-QWELS study is a multi-pronged national longitudinal study of working Canadians prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  One leg of this study follows multiples samples of Canadians from prior to the pandemic into the pandemic.  The first two of these samples were gathered in the fall of 2019 and March of 2020, and both have been repeatedly surveyed throughout the pandemic.  A second leg of this study has surveyed additional working Canadians every fall between 2020 and 2023, with these additional samples also followed longitudinally.  This research can, therefore, trace individuals throughout the pandemic and beyond, and while also providing snapshots of the Canadian workforce once a year between 2019 and 2023.  As a part of this study, Dr. Bierman has published research on the health effects of changes in social isolation, loneliness, and financial stress, as well as how social trust changed during the pandemic.


  • Established Scholar Research Award, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary. 2018