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Do Incident and Perpetrator Characteristics of Elder Mistreatment Differ by Gender of the Victim?: Results From the National Elder Mistreatment Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Dated: January - March 2011 Pages: 43-57
Date Published
January 2011
15 pages

This study examined whether an elder victim's gender played a role in their mistreatment by family members and caregivers.


Perpetrator and incident characteristics were studied in regard to incidents of emotional, physical, and sexual mistreatment of older adults (age 60+) in a national sample of older men and women. Random digit dialing across geographic strata was used to compile a nationally representative sample; computer assisted telephone interviewing was used to standardize collection of demographic, mistreatment, and perpetrator and incident characteristics data. The final sample size consisted of 5,777 older adults. Approximately 1 in 10 adults reported at least 1 form of mistreatment, and the majority of incidents were not reported to authorities. Perpetrators of physical mistreatment against men had more "pathological" characteristics compared to perpetrators of physical mistreatment against women. Perpetrators of physical mistreatment (compared to emotional and sexual mistreatment) also evidenced increased likelihood of legal problems, psychological treatment, substance use during incident, living with the victim, and being related to the victim. Implications for future research and social policy are discussed. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 2011