Research Interests

My research emphasizes the allocation of financial and human resources by families coping with stressful circumstances, including immigration and resettlement, family separation, unemployment, and conflicts between work and family responsibilities. My immigration-related research includes a quantitative longitudinal study (3 waves over 10 years) of employment, unemployment, family, and consumer patterns of Vietnamese and Lao refugees; effects of financial support to family in Sudan on refugee men’s adjustment; and views of settlement counselors and leaders in the Vietnamese and Sudanese communities about the effect of remittances on family and community well-being. My recent work and family research focuses on families with one member working in distant and dangerous settings. This line of research began with an archival study of sailors on Arctic voyages, and now includes NASA astronauts. I am part of a multinational group of researchers (P. Suedfeld, PI, Canada, and co-investigators V. Gushin, Russia, & J. Boyd, USA) who have received a Canadian Space Agency contract to interview retired Cosmonauts. Marital and family relations, and work-life issues are my contributions to this retrospective study.

Awards and Other Recognition

Margaret Speechly Stansfield Award for Research in Family Resources, Canadian Home Economics Foundation, 2005.

Just Desserts Award for Service to Students, Alma Mater Society, UBC Undergraduate Society, 2004.

Founders’ Invited Lectureship Award for Excellence in Research Methods, Canadian Association for Research in Home Economics, 1994.

Faculty Member of Green College, UBC, 1997-2003.

Senior Researcher, Vancouver RIIM (Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis)

Member, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, 1986-present.

Recent Publications

Johnson, P. J. (2010). The Roles of NASA, U.S. Astronauts and Their Families in Long-Duration Missions. Acta Astronautica, 67, 561-571.

Johnson, P. J., & Stoll, K. (2008). Remittance patterns of Southern Sudanese refugee men: Enacting the global breadwinner role. Family Relations, 57, 431-443. Received the 2009 Best Research Article Award from the Men in Focus  group, Research and Theory Section, the National Council on Family Relations

Johnson, P. J.  (2007). Credit card practices of Vietnamese and Laotian newcomers to Canada: A ten year longitudinal perspective. Journal of Family & Economic Issues, 28, 227-246.

Stoll, K. & Johnson, P. J. (2007). Determinants of the psychosocial adjustment of Southern Sudanese Men. Journal of Refugee Studies, 20 (4), 621-640.

Johnson, P. J. (2003). Financial Responsibility for Families: The Case of Southeast Asian refugees in Canada, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Reprinted in Lucey, T. & Cooter, K. (Eds.) (2008). Financial Literacy for Children and Youth, Digital Textbooks.

Keynote Conference Papers

Johnson, P. J. (2008, August). Living in space: Creating a home away from home. Invited presentation in the Symposium “To the Moon and Mars – Psychology of Long-Duration Space Exploration” at the American Psychological Association Conference. Boston, MA.

Conference Papers

Johnson, P. J. (2006, July). Limitations of liberation: Continuing transnational responsibilities of political refugees. Paper presented at the International Society for Political Psychology Conference, Barcelona, Spain.

Johnson, P. J. (2006, June). The astronaut career and family relationships: His view, her view. Presentation in a Space Psychology Symposium, Canadian Psychological Association, Calgary, AB.

Johnson, P. J. (2006, June). Remittances and family well-being. Presentation at the Canadian Association for Research in Home Economics. Toronto, ON.

Stoll, K., & Johnson, P. J. (2005, November). Maintaining family ties and Sudanese refugee men’s psychosocial adjustment. Poster at the National Council on Family Relations, Phoenix, AZ.

Johnson, P. J., & Stoll, K. (2005, April). Remittance patterns of Southern Sudanese refugee men. Poster at the American Council on Consumer Interests, Columbus, OH.

Suedfeld, P., & Johnson, P. J. (2005, July). Individual, crew, and family reactions to spaceflight. Poster at the International Space University Summer Session Program, Space Open House, HR MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver, BC.

Johnson, P. J. (2004, October). Work-family linkages in the lives of astronauts. Paper presented at the 55th International Astronautical Congress, Vancouver, Canada.

Johnson, P. J. (2004, August). Borrowing practices of Southeast Asians in Canada. Paper presented at International Federation for Home Economics Congress, Kyoto, Japan.

Chaulk, B., Johnson, P. J., & Bulcroft, R. (2002, April). Effect of Marriage and Children on Financial Risk Tolerance: A Synthesis of Family Development and Prospect Theory. Poster presented at the American Council on Consumer Interests, Los Angeles, CA.

Johnson, P. J. (2001, December 1). Saving and Borrowing by New Canadians from Vietnam and Laos: Implications for Financial Counselors. Western Canadian Forum for Financial Counselling, Vancouver, BC.

Johnson, P. J. (2001, December). Money Handling Practices in Families: Implications for Financial Counselors. Western Canadian Forum for Financial Counselling, Vancouver, BC.

Johnson, P. J. (2000, June). A Longitudinal Perspective on the Impact of Socio-demographic Variables on Employment Status of Vietnamese Refugees. Presentation at the Joint Conference of the Canadian Council for Refugees and the UBC School of Social Work and Family Studies, Vancouver, BC.

Current Courses

FMST 238 Family Resource Management

FMST 442 Families and Work

FMST 440 Family Economic Issues

FMST 538 Family Resources (Graduate)


B.S. (Home Economics Education), Kansas State University

M.S. (Home Economics), Kansas State University

Ph.D. (Family Resource Management), Ohio State University

Other Activities

Editorial Board, Journal of Consumer Affairs

Specialist Reviewer, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, International Migration

Member, National Council on Family Relations, American Council on Consumer Interests, Association for Advances in Consumer Research, Canadian Asian Studies Association, International Federation for Home Economics, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences