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 and am now in my third year of my doctorate in clinical psychology. 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 efficacy of a group-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention in assisted living. A program evaluation of this group 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 second 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 will examine the link between trauma and cognition in older adults, while also looking at the role of resiliency.



    Jodi is a second 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’m in my fourth year of my BSc in Psychology with a minor in Biology, and I am working on my honours with Dr. Strong this year. 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 have been working as a research assistant for the past year on the Impact of MAgiC study, I have been volunteering on the Seniors Survey project, and will be joining lots of other projects soon!



    Adam has completed a couple of independent study projects learning about 1) implicit and explicit ageism, and 2) life style factors that maintain health in late life. He has been involved with the Senior's Survey project and Ageism projects in the lab.



    I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 2021 and am working on a Bachelors of Education this year! I have always had an interest in working with people of all age groups. I thoroughly enjoy my time participating in social aspects with older adults and learning more about their life experiences, hobbies, and concerns. I believe that living on PEI, our relationship with our community is something that is super special and should be admired as many individuals are not able to experience an environment like ours. I am excited about the projects that I have been fortunate enough to have the chance to participate in and am looking forward to future opportunities.



    I’m in my fourth 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 5th 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 working on an independent study with Dr. Strong. I am very excited to be a part of Age Strong PEI! I am very passionate about the older adult community and I cannot wait to learn more from this experience! I am looking forward to working with everyone here; it is great to be apart of a community that cares so much about our seniors!



    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 plans to return to school full time to complete her Honours' degree in the near future!



    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 is working on a number of lab projects and is hoping to complete her honours in the near future



    Daniel is starting his 4th year in the Psychology program and works as a Research Assistant for the Impact of MAgiC study.

    Maria L.


    Maria is starting her 4th year in the Psychology program and works as a Research Assistant for the Impact of MAgiC study.




    Lab Alumni

    Katie (working on her Master's in Counseling)


    Clare (working on her Master's in Occupational Therapy)


  • Current Projects

    Below is a list of ongoing and planned projects

    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.


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

    Senior's Survey

    This intergenerational collaboration with researchers and students at UPEI and individuals in the community seeks to learn from older adults on Prince Edward Island about the services they provide to the community through employment and volunteer work, as well as what services they need to stay at home. Among others, this project's goal is to address ageism - internal ageism older adults may feel towards themselves, as well as ageism experienced from others.


    Morgan's honour's thesis takes on a branch of this project related to accessibility and barriers to services.


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

    Evaluating an ACT Group Intervention in Assisted Living Facilities

    This is Emily's clinical dissertation. She is recruiting adults over 65 who live in select assisted living facilities on PEI to complete a 10-week Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group intervention.


    We finished data collection and are currently analysing the results! (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.


    We are currently recruiting for this study!

    Caring for a Parent with Dementia

    This is Jodi's clinical dissertation. She is developing her study that will assess adult children who are caring for a parent with dementia.


    Stay tuned! We will be recruiting new participants soon.

  • Publications and Presentations

    (bolded names are current and former lab members)

    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



    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



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

    In Press

    The Journal of Clinical Psychology

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

    In Press

    Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition

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

    In Press

    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.

    Accepted 29 June 2021

    The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry

  • If you are interested in working on the team submit the form below

    Tell me a little about yourself (year, major, anything else that might be important) and why you are interested in joining!