Weiguo Zhang. Credit Drew Lesiuczok.

Weiguo Zhang

Associate Professor

Professor Weiguo Zhang specializes in social demography, sociology of families, and social policy. His work primarily focuses on rural area of China, looking into the relationship between national population and economic policies and individual livelihoods. Zhang’s research interests include investigation of social change, particularly the roles of societal institutions and individual behaviour in social change, and how social change affects the nature of people’s lives. Drawing upon empirical research, he examines, on the one hand, how macro state policies, mediated by societal institutions, influence individual behaviour, and on the other hand, how individual behaviour reshapes the characteristics of the society in which they live.

Zhang’s earlier social demographic research was the first of its kind to apply an institutional framework to advance our understanding of the interplay between macro-economic and population policies on the one hand and micro-fertility behaviour on the other in post-reform rural China. Zhang’s recent researches focus on family dynamics including domestic adoptions of children, the welfare of elderly parents, marriage and family dynamics, and women and gender. Zhang’s research endeavors to understand how women, men, and the elderly, within the specific economic and social policy context, utilize the gender and age differentiated social capital and resource control, and negotiate with the socially specified rules and opportunities, which shape and reshape social relations.

Ph.D. (Development Studies, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands)


Recent Publications

Fan, Jin, Weiguo Zhang, and Hong Mi. 2022. “Intergenerational Proximity to Aging Parents and Depression among Married Persons in China.” Research on Aging. https://doi.org/10.1177/01640275221107320

Lee, Andrea D. Y., Peizhong Peter Wang, Weiguo Zhang, and Lixia Yang. 2022. “COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress and Loneliness in Chinese Residents in North America: The Role of Contraction Worry.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(13). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137639

Su, Chang, Lixia Yang, Linying Dong, and Weiguo Zhang. 2022. “The Psychological Well-being of Older Chinese Immigrants in Canada Amidst COVID-19: The Role of Loneliness, Social Support, and Acculturation.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(14). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148612

Yu, Linke, Mariah Lecompte, Weiguo Zhang, Peizhong Wang, and Lixia Yang. 2022. “Sociodemographic and COVID-Related Predictors for Mental Health Condition of Mainland Chinese in Canada Amidst the Pandemic.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010171

Zhang, Weiguo. 2022. “Perceptions and Expectations of Filial Piety Among Older Chinese Immigrants in Canada” Ageing and Society 42(3):497-520. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X20000902

Kong, Yujia, Lance Garrett Shaver, Fuyan Shi, Lixia Yang, Weiguo Zhang, Xiaolin Wei, Yun Zhu, Yiran Wang, and Peizhong Peter Wang. 2021. “Attitudes of Chinese Immigrants in Canada Towards the Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Prevention and Management of COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey During the Early Stages of the Pandemic.” BMJ Open 11(9).  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051499

Lian, Xuejun, Weiguo Zhang, Yongfang Jia, and Yidan Zhu. 2021. “Fighting COVID-19 in Rural Communities: Coordinated Mobilization and Reconstruction of Community Order in a Village in Northern China.” Journal of Asian Public Policy. https://doi.org/10.1080/17516234.2021.2007565

Na, Ling, Lixia Yang, Linke Yu, Kathryn Bolton, Weiguo Zhang, and Peizhong Wang. 2021. “The Appraisal and Endorsement of Individual and Public Preventive Measures to Combat COVID-19 and the Associated Psychological Predictors Among Chinese Living in Canada.” Open Journal of Public Health 14:592-599. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874944502114010592

Zhang, Weiguo, Yidan Zhu, Xueyun Liu, and Yan Qiu. 2021. “Teaching Older Immigrants Active Ageing: Narratives of Peer English Instructors.” International Journal of Lifelong Learning 40(5-6):439-454. https://doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2021.1968972

Kong, Yujia, Lance Garrett Shaver, Fuyan Shi, Lixia Yang, Weiguo Zhang, Xiaolin Wei, Yiran Wang, and  Peizhong Peter Wang. 2020. “Belief and Usage of Traditional Chinese Medicine as Preventative Measure against COVID-19 Infection During the Pandemic Among Chinese Immigrants in Canada.” Annals of Epidemiology 52:105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.08.027

Kong, Yujia, Fuyan Shi, Lixia Yang, Weiguo Zhang, Xiaolin Wei, Yiran Wang and Peizhong Wang. 2020. “TCM Against COVID-19 Among Chinese Immigrants in Canada.” Annals of Epidemiology, ACE Abstracts.

Yang, Lixia, Linke Yu, Weiguo Zhang, Xiaolin Wei, Fuyan Shi, and Peizhong Wang. 2020. “The Perceived Psychological Distress Towards COVID-19 and its Demographic Predictors.” Annals of Epidemiology 52:107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.08.034

Zhang, Weiguo. 2020 “Is Death Taboo for Older Chinese Immigrants?” Omega-Journal of Death and Dying 84(4):1061-1080. https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222820927883

Zhang, Weiguo, Lei Chai, Jin Fan, Peizhong Wang, Xiaolin Wei, and Lixia Yang. 2020. “COVID-19, Racial Discrimination, and Psychological Distress.” Annals of Epidemiology 52:106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.08.032

Zhang, Weiguo. 2019. “Perceptions of Elder Abuse and Neglect by Older Chinese Immigrants in Canada.” Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect 31(4-5):340-362. https://doi.org/10.1080/08946566.2019.1652718

Zhu, Yidan and Weiguo Zhang. 2019. “Active Learning for Active Ageing: Chinese Senior Immigrants’ Lifelong Learning in Canada.” Educational Gerontology 45(8):506-518. https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2019.166293


Social Demography; Sociology of Families


Gender and Family
Current Courses
SOC244H5, SOC334H5, SOC356H5, SOC407H5