Welcome! The Age Strong Lab is located at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. Our research broadly addresses a variety of issues related to aging and late life, mental health, & cognition.

  • Who We Are

    End of the year ice cream social

    End of the 2021 school year ice cream social

    Jessica V Strong, PhD, ABPP


    I'm a board certified geropsychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Prince Edward Island. I am passionate about working with and serving older adults in both my clinical work and in my research. Clinically, I conduct cognitive assessments for differential dementia diagnoses and provide psychotherapy for mental health issues in late life. I supervise students in the clinical Doctor of Psychology program at UPEI on developing geropsychology competencies.


    My primary research interest is in cognition and aging, cognitive reserve, and how musical training and involvement protect against cognitive decline and promote well-being. I also enjoy applied research, including program development, implementation, and evaluation of services for older adults across settings. More recently, I have been involved in research related to the geriatric workforce pipeline, and how this pipeline may be impacted by factors including ageism vs. exposure to positive experiences interacting with older adults.

    Lab Associates - Some of our collaborators!

    Kirsten Graham, PhD

    Kate King, PsyD

    Olive Bryanton, PhD

    Cindy Woolverton, PhD

    William Montelpare, PhD



    Following an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master's degree in social work, and a (short) career in the public service, I've returned to school. I am heading off for my internship/residency this fall (2022). I'm excited to be part of the Age Strong Lab and have been enjoying working with older adults and hearing the insights that come from living long and rich lives.


    In terms of research, I am specifically studying the acceptability/feasibility of a group-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention in assisted living. My study will help determine whether it could be a scalable intervention for older adults experiencing depression and anxiety in these settings.


    Outside of psychology, I love to bake (chocolate is always included) and go to used book sales.



    I am in my third year of the Doctor of Psychology program. I am passionate about health and wellness and fascinated by the aging process. I love working with older adults and hearing stories and wisdom stemming from lived experiences. My clinical dissertation examines the link between trauma and cognition in older adults, while also looking at the role of post traumatic growth and resiliency.



    Jodi is a third year student in the Doctor of Psychology program. She will be completing her dissertation on adult children caring for parents with dementia. Specifically, she is interested in how prior relationship quality impacts unmet needs and mental health in adult children caregivers.



    Hi! My name is Morgan, I graduated with my BSc in Psychology with a minor in Biology in 2021. I consider myself to have an “old soul” and have always been interested in working with older adults because of the connection I have with them. I’m particularly interested in accessibility, advocacy, and education for this age group, especially when it comes to accessing health care services, and I hope to go on to medical school to become a family doctor or geriatrician. In my free time I love to spend time with my dog and take care of my houseplants. In the Age Strong lab, I work as a research assistant on the Impact of MAgiC study, and I volunteer on the Seniors Survey project lots of other projects soon!



    I’m in my fifth year of the BSc of Psychology at UPEI, and I'm passionate about psychology and training dogs. Recently I have become interested in geropsychology after working as a research assistant for Dr. Strong on the Impact of Music on Aging and Cognition. I’ve enjoyed talking with older adults about their unique life experiences, which provide valuable insight and different perspectives. Piano is one of my hobbies and I recently started learning the bass. Sharing music and laughter with family and friends is very important to me, and I hope to do so for many years to come.

    Maria M.


    I am a returning 6th year student at the University of Prince Edward Island. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2021 and this year I now have the pleasure of acquiring my Honours Thesis degree under the supervision of Dr. Strong. I am very excited to be a part of Age Strong PEI! I am very passionate about the older adult community and learning about how to improve healthy aging and quality of life as well as spreading awareness about ageism. I am looking forward to working with everyone here; it is great to be a part of a community that cares so much about the geriatric population!



    Teli graduated with her BSc in Psychology in 2021 and continues to volunteer in the lab, assisting with data management (scoring, entry, etc.). She works at a local nursing home and is interested in language/communication in dementia. She is returning to school full time this year to complete her Honours' degree on changes in language in early Alzheimer's disease.



    Lanlan graduated with her Bachelor's in Psychology in 2021 and continues to volunteer in the lab. She has earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in literature and journalism before returning to school to study psychology. She will be working on her Honour's degree this year, which will examine death anxiety in North American undergraduate students, as well as immigrant populations across the lifespan.



    Kaitlyn graduated with her Bachelor's degree in the summer 2022. She continues to volunteer on the dementia and running project, and has put in time across the board over the past year and a half.



    Danah is a second year psychology student who has a lot of experience working with children and a recent interest in aging/older adulthood. She primarily volunteers on Rachel's dissertation (trauma, memory, and post-traumatic growth), and Lanlan's honours project (death anxiety across cultures).



    Fairouz is in the third year of her undergraduate degree. She particularly interested in social justice issues. She volunteers on the running and dementia project, and hopes to complete her honours degree in this same area in the coming year or two.



    Ryan joined the lab in the spring 2022 and is working on his honours degree this year as a fifth year undergraduate. He is particularly interested in the intersection between mental health and physical health. He is applying for Master's in Occupational Therapy programs to begin next year.



    Dylan is in his third year of psychology studies. He volunteers on the Senior's Survey and running and dementia projects. He is particularly interested in men's mental health, access to mental health treatment and stigma in men reaching out for mental health support.

    Lab Alumni


    Katie (Master's in Counseling)

    Madison (Master's in Education)

    Clare (Master's in OT)

    Aiping (paralegal, considering law school v graduate school)

  • Current Projects

    Below is a list of ongoing and planned projects

    Senior's Survey

    This intergenerational collaboration with researchers, students at UPEI, and individuals in the community is funded by the provincial government. The aims of the study are twofold 1) to learn from older adults on Prince Edward Island about the services they provide to the community through employment and volunteer work, and 2) what services they need to stay at home in the coming decade.


    We have finished collecting data and are analysing our findings! (no new participants needed)

    Understanding the Effects of Life Experiences on Memory Functioning

    This is Rachel's clinical dissertation. She is recruiting adults over 65 who live in the community on PEI to participate in a brief cognitive screen (to measure memory) and answer questionnaires about their mood and life experiences. She is particularly interested in resiliency and post-traumatic growth - the concept that some people find ways to frame traumatic experiences earlier in life in different ways.


    *Maria's undergraduate honour's thesis takes on a branch of this project, examining internalized ageism in this population.


    We are currently recruiting for this study!

    Death Anxiety

    This is Lanlan's undergraduate honour's thesis. She will be analysing some secondary data from undergraduate North American students, and collecting new data on death anxiety from the Immigration and Refugee Services on PEI across cultures and the lifespan.


    Stay tuned! We will be recruiting new participants soon.

    Language Changes in Alzheimer's disease

    This is Teli's undergraduate honour's thesis. She will be testing older adults with early Alzheimer's disease for symptoms of aphasia, or disruptions in language. She is planning to track symptom progression in language over 4 months.


    Stay tuned! We will be recruiting new participants soon.

    Caring for a Parent with Dementia

    This is Jodi's clinical dissertation. She is developing her study that will assess how prior family relationships impact symptoms of caregiver burden, as well as positive aspects of caregiving for adult children who are caring for a parent with dementia.


    Stay tuned! We will be recruiting new participants soon.

    Running and Dementia

    This is an international collaboration with researchers across PEI, North America, and the UK. We are currently doing a systematic literature review examining how running/walking/jogging/hiking might lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We're also reading articles that talk about people who already have dementia and continue running and the impacts that activity has their mood or mental health, sense of community, etc.


    Stay tuned!

    The Impact of Music on Aging and Cognition (Impact of MAgiC)

    This is a longitudinal study that follows adults over 60 for 3 years, measuring cognitive, social engagement, physical activity, and musical training. We are interested in how formal musical training is related to cognitive functioning over time and how casual involvement in music is related to quality of life and mood.


    *Aiping analysed the Time 1 data for this study as part of her honour's thesis on age of acquisition and cognition


    *Ryan's undergraduate honour's thesis will analyse data on physical health and well-being with an eye towards successful aging


    We are collecting data for Time 3 for this study! (no new participants needed)

  • Publications and Presentations

    (bolded names are current and former lab members)

    Publications (selected)

    Weissberger, G., Strong, J. V., Stefandis, K., Summers, M., Bondi, M. W., & Stricker, N. H. (2017). Diagnostic accuracy of memory measures in Alzheimer’s dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychology Review, doi:10.1007/s11065-017-9360-6


    Strong, J. V. & Mast, B. T. (2018) The Cognitive Functioning of Older Adult Instrumental Musicians and Non-musicians. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2018.1448356


    Strong, J. V. & Midden. A. (2018) Cognitive Differences between Older Adult Instrumental Musicians: Benefits of Continuing to Play. Psychology of Music


    Deason, R. G., Strong, J. V., Tat, M. J., Simmons-Stern, N. R., & Budson, A. E. (2018). Explicit and Implicit Memory for Music in Healthy Older Adults and Patients with Mild Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology


    Strong, J. V., Allen, R. S., Tighe, C., Jacobs-Dodson, M. L., Dorman, H., & Mast, B. T. (2019). What geropsychology trainees think geropsychologists do and what we actually do: A Mixed Methods. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education


    Strong, J. V., Bamonti, P., Jacobs-Dodson, M. L., & Moye, J. (2019). Capacity assessment training in geropsychology: Creating and evaluating an outpatient capacity clinic to fill a training gap. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education.


    Schwartz, A. W., Hawley, C. E., Strong, J. V., Philips, S. C., Amir, O., Ludwin, B. M., Ngoc Phung, E. T., &. Moye, J. A. (2020). A Workshop for Interprofessional Trainees using the Geriatrics 5Ms Framework. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


    Strong, J. V., Plys, E., Hartmann, C., Hinrichs, K. & McCullough, M. (2020). Successful strategies for implementing group mental health interventions in a VA Community Living Center. Clinical Gerontologist


    Dorman, H., Strong, J. V., Tighe, C., Mast, B. T., & Allen, R. (2021) The Pipeline of Geropsychology: Integration of Clinical and Academic Career Trajectories. The Journal of Clinical Psychology


    Strong, J. V., Fonda, J., Grande, L., Milberg, W., McGlinchey, R., & Leritz, E. (2021) Cognitive reserve mediates the relationship between metabolic syndrome and cognitive functioning in middle aged and older adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition.


    Strong, J. V., Plys, E., Hinrichs, K. L. M., Hartmann, C., & McCullough, M. (2021) Music for your mental health? The development and evaluation of a group mental health intervention in subacute rehabilitation. Aging and Mental Health


    Shea, A., Woolverton, C., Biccum, K., Yu, A., & Strong, J. V. Students’ attitudes and intention to work with older adults in the era of COVID-19. The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry 



    Poster Presentations

    Shea, A., Graham, K., & Strong, J. V. (2020). North American and International Students’ Perspectives on Older Adults. Presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America 


    Galloway, C. & Strong, J. V. (2021). Comparing Working Memory and Verbal Learning in Older Adult Musicians and Non-musicians. Presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America


    Inman, M., Murphy, C., & Strong, J. V. (2021). Physical Activity, Social Support, and Mood in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America


    Woolverton, C., Biccum, K., Yu, A., Xin, L., & Strong, J. V. (2021).The Impact of Mental Health Stigma and Ageism on Students’ Intention to Work with Older Adults: A Mixed Methods Design. Presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America


    Shea, A., Yu, A., & Strong, J. V. (2021). Ageism and Undergraduate Attitudes towards Older Adults during COVID-19. Presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America



  • If you are interested in participating in a study please let us know what study you are interested in, your name and contact information using the link below!

    You can also contact us at strongresearchlab@gmail.com or (902) 566-0941. Please be sure to tell us what study you heard about in addition to the best way to reach you!