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Criminal Victimization, Depressive Symptoms, and Behavioral Avoidance Coping in Late Adulthood:The Conditioning Role of Strong Familial Ties

NCJ Number
Journal of Adult Development Volume: 25 Issue: 1 Dated: 2018 Pages: 13-24
Date Published
12 pages
This study examined the association criminal victimization has with two mental health outcomes (i.e., depressive symptoms and behavioral avoidance coping) among older adults, and it also tested whether strong familial ties conditioned the harmful results of victimization.

The study used cross-sectional survey data from interviews conducted in Arizona and Florida with individuals 60 years and older (N=2000). Linear regression was used to test the hypotheses. Victims reported higher depressive symptoms and greater behavioral avoidance coping. The link between victimization and depression was weaker among participants with strong attachments to their spouse and to their children. Strong spousal ties also diminished the link between criminal victimization and behavioral avoidance coping. These findings are consistent with research conducted at earlier stages of the life course. Practitioners should work with older crime victims to identify interventions that provide the types of support found in strong familial relationships. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018