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

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    Jessica V Strong, PhD, ABPP


    I'm a board certified and licensed 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

    Evan Plys, PhD



    I am in my fourth and last year of the Doctor of Psychology program, currently on internship. 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.



    Warren is a second year student in the Doctor of Psychology program. He will be completing his dissertation on sleep and dreaming in older adults.



    Lanlan is the Age Strong Lab Manager for 2023-24! She is on the brink of completing her Honours of Psychology project under the mentorship of Dr. Strong. Her professional journey has included roles as a journalist and counselor, and she is committed to advancing her proficiency in the field of clinical psychology. Her current focal point revolves around death anxiety within the framework of multicultural perspectives. She is determined to elucidate the unique attributes and underlying factors contributing to death anxiety among immigrated populations.

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    Hi! My name is Morgan and I graduated with my BSc in Psychology from UPEI in 2022. I have been working with the Age Strong Lab since 2019, focussing on the Impact of Music on Aging and Cognition project and the Seniors Survey. I am currently working on medical school applications and hope to become a physician. I am particularly interested in research on accessibility, advocacy and education, particularly when it relates to health care.

    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!



    I am a returning 5th year student at UPEI and I will be completing my Honours thesis in psychology this year with Dr. Takano. I am particularly interested in substance use and recovery processes, but am fascinated by all aspects of psychology. I enjoy broadening my scope of interests so I am very excited to be back volunteering in Dr. Strong’s research lab!



    I am a psychology student with a passion for working with kids and a broad interest in topics across the lifespan. I am interested in research that improves the care provided to older adults as well as promotes diversity in psychology. Volunteering at Dr. Strong’s lab sparked my passion for research and taught me so much about the work that goes into research. I look forward to learning more and I hope to help people of all ages throughout my career!



    Fairouz graduated in 2023. She particularly interested in social justice issues. She volunteers on the running and dementia project.



    Hello, my name is Dylan! I am a fourth year psychology major and sociology minor at UPEI. I am a sponge for knowledge and have a passion for research.

    Nik Nurdayana Balqis Nik Akmal Rizal


    I am currently in my 5th year of Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. I will be working on my honours thesis (23-24') under the supervision of Dr. Strong for thr topic of Religiousity/Spirituality specifically on struggle in relation to ACEs among individual across lifespan. Apart from that, I am an active volunteer in many organizations on PEI such as Hillsborough Hospital, Canadian Blood Services and Canadian Red Cross! I am passionate about Spirituality and Environment that influence our perspective when understanding the meaning of life and our relationship with others. I hope to be able to work in Research field someday :)



    I am in the final year of my Psychology Degree with a minor in Business Administration. I am keenly interested in all forms of psychological research; my main interest has been in qualitative research and studying older adults. I am volunteering in the lab to better understand how research is conducted outside of the classroom and to take these skills into my future endeavours.

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    Lab Alumni


    Emily Jewell, PsyD

    Katie (Master's in Counseling)

    Madison (Master's in Education)

    Clare (Master's in OT)

    Aiping (Law School)

    Rhiannon (Bachelor of Education)

    Ryan (Master's in OT)

    Caroline (applying for mental health support jobs)


  • 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 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 recruited adults over 65 who live on PEI to participate in a brief cognitive screen 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 finished data collection and are analysing results! (no new participants needed)

    Death Anxiety

    This is Lanlan's undergraduate honour's thesis. She analysed death anxiety across cultures (North America and China, primarily) and lifespan (young to middle aged).


    We finished data collection and are analysing the results! (no new participants needed)

    Language Changes in Alzheimer's disease

    This is Teli's undergraduate honour's thesis. She tested older adults with early Alzheimer's disease for symptoms of aphasia, or disruptions in language. She tracked symptom progression in language over 4 months.


    We finished data collection and are analysing our results! (no new participants needed)

    Caring for a Parent with Dementia

    This is Jodi's clinical dissertation. Her study 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 participants soon.

    Running and Dementia

    This is an international collaboration with researchers across North America and Europe. We are currently completing 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 analysed Time 1 and some Time 3 data on physical health and well-being.


    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!