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PERFORM Colloquium:
Aging, Behaviors, Confinement and Dating; the ABCDs Surrounding COVID


A webinar of four short research talks exploring how the effects of COVID affect our daily lives. Divided into 4 parts, each video is embedded below.

They are also available on YouTube as a playlist.

  1. "A Research Agenda on Aging-in-place for Pandemic and Post-pandemic Times" - Meghan Joy, Assistant Professor, Concordia University
  2. "International COVID-19 Awareness and Responses Evaluation Study – The iCARE Study" - Simon Bacon, Professor, Concordia University
  3.  "Correlates of Psychological Distress During COVID-19-Relate Confinement" - Jean-Philippe Gouin, Associate Professor, Concordia University
  4. "The year of the virtual date: Dating apps’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic" - Stefanie Duguay, Assistant Professor, Concordia University

For those of you who were unable to join the webinar live, the stream is now available for everyone to watch here or on YouTube as a 4-part playlist.

Speaker Bios and Videos:

Meghan Joy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. Her research interests include the politics of population aging, theories and practice of progressive politics and policy in cities, and the socio-political role of the nonprofit sector. These topics are combined in Meghan’s research, which examines the development and implementation of the Age-friendly City program in Canadian cities.



Aging-in-place, or in one’s longstanding residence, neighbourhood, community, and city is a policy priority for governments. However, the places in which we live are not always age-friendly, particularly for diverse senior citizens. While we have seen policy movements to address this, such as the Age-friendly City program, gaps remain, and have been compounded by the pandemic. Problems include a lack of investment and a complex and uncoordinated policy area. This talk will outline the importance of an interdisciplinary research agenda on aging-in-place to support scaling-up age-friendly programs in pandemic and post-pandemic times. I will highlight some of my research on this topic to date and will comment on how the pandemic impacts this research agenda.

Simon Bacon is a Professor in the Department of Health Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at Concordia University. His research deals with the impact of health behaviours and lifestyle (e.g., physical activity, diet, weight management, stress) on chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease). He utilises multiple methodologies including epidemiological, psychophysiological, systematic review, and behavioural trials designs. Currently, Dr. Bacon is the CIHR SPOR Mentoring Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials and a fellow of the Obesity Society, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. Prior to joining Concordia he completed his postdoctoral studies at the Duke University Medical Center, McGill University, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, and the Montreal Heart Institute. In addition to Concordia, Dr. Bacon is co-director of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (, a researcher at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS-NIM:, and co-leads the International Behavioural Trials Network (


In the absence of a vaccine, treatment or cure, the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is adherence to behaviour-based, public health policies. However, adherence to many policies comes with significant personal, social and economic costs that may undermine adherence. Understanding the determinants of adherence may help inform policy and communication strategies around the world. The iCARE study ( is an ongoing, multi-wave Canadian-led international cross-sectional survey on public awareness, attitudes, concerns and behavioural responses to COVID-19 public health policies which is connected to COVID-19 cases data, policy measures data, and mobility data. The study uses behavioural medicine based theory to provide data-driven recommendations to local and international governments on how to optimise policy and communication strategies to improve policy adherence and health, economic, and quality of life outcomes associated with COVID-19. The talk will cover the design on the study and some initial results, detailing how these results can be utilised to engage more individuals to participate in COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Dr. Jean-Philippe Gouin, a clinical psychologist, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University. Dr. Gouin holds a Canada Research Chair in Chronic Stress and Health. His research investigates the impact of chronic stress on health and well-being.


This talk will discuss the prevalence of psychological distress during the confinement period during the COVID-19 pandemic. The socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle characteristics associated with psychological distress will be presented.

Stefanie Duguay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University (Tiohtià:ke/Montreal, Canada). Her research focuses on the influence of digital media technologies in everyday life, with attention to the intersection of sexual identity, gender, and social media. Her latest research can be found at



The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about the safety and relevance of location-based dating apps in light of physical distancing guidelines. This presentation provides a preliminary overview of dating app companies’ responses to the pandemic. It draws on research conducted from March to May 2020 involving three approaches: non-participant observation on 16 dating apps; analyses of content produced by dating app companies on their Instagram accounts, corporate blogs, and websites; and the examination of related newspaper and magazine articles to contextualize dating apps’ responses within public discourse. Findings indicate that these apps played the role of corporate health technologies, informing users of health guidelines while reinforcing and normalizing distanced behavior. Such a role is compatible with their business strategies, offering new features for “virtual dating” and promoting the romantic or sexual appeal of distanced interactions. While some apps also circulated discourses of care and community, such messages remained in tension with their commercialized aims.  

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