I am currently the Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto (St. George).

My research and teaching interests fall into three broad areas: health/mental health, work/family, and the sociology of religion. I am especially interested in the ways that social-psychological and social-structural factors inform processes and outcomes in all three of these research areas--and ultimately, what these dynamics say about stratification and inequality in society.

I’m currently engaged in a large, national longitudinal study of work, stress, and health among Canadians. This project investigates the social causes and health consequences of stress in the lives of Canadian adults and the ways that these processes change over time. Five waves of data collection (with interviews spaced 2 years apart) will occur from 2011 until 2019. The aim is to replicate and extend a national study of workers in the United States that I completed in 2010. In conjunction with the large national survey, I have also conducted an in-depth qualitative study of Canadians in dual-earner couples with children at home to explore the meaning and nature of the work-family interface--and the stressors and resources in these contexts. Recently, my team conducted a series of focus groups to study the causes and consequences of distributive justice in the workplace.

One key component of my research on work and health--using both quantitative and qualitative methods-- seeks to investigate the stressors associated with higher status positions and activities in the workplace. I’ve referred to this as the “stress of higher status.”

My research on the stress of higher status was featured as one of the “10 Ideas that are Changing your Life” in Time Magazine’s cover story (March 12, 2012, Special Issue).

Link to cover:,9171,2108054,00.html

Link to article:,9171,2108019,00.html

I study the nature of demands and resources across the entire socioeconomic spectrum. The “stress of higher status” theory describes the complexities and nuances in what I call the “status-based stress exposure gradient”--that is, the patterning of different stressors across education, personal income, and occupation grade. I’ve discovered the particular facets of the status-based stress exposure gradient that dampen the rewards of higher status achievements. Ultimately, I seek to document and describe the implications of these processes for the work-family interface, health, satisfaction, and well-being.

University of Toronto - Ontario, Canada

Phone:  416.978.3411


Department of Sociology

University of Toronto

725 Spadina Ave

Toronto, ON M5S 2J4