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Elderly Abuse and Black Americans - Incidence, Correlates, Treatment, and Prevention (From Abuse and Maltreatment of the Elderly - Causes and Interventions, P 187-203, 1983, Jordan I Kosberg, ed. - See NCJ-91500)

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N A Cazenave
Date Published
17 pages
The study examines factors that may contribute to higher than average incidence rates for the elderly among blacks and proposes methods for prevention.
Using the Steinmetz and Straus Systems Model, the author determines which variables may contribute to violence within black families. Societal variables include poverty, a large number of households headed by women, and residence in high crime neighborhoods. Factors of family-kin-community organization possibly affecting abuse rates are prevalence of multigenerational households, presence of nonnuclear family members in the home, social isolation from support systems, and a shared value system with proviolent attitudes common among low income groups. The tendency of older black respondents to be in poorer health than white respondents may also be a factor contributing to the risk of abuse for elderly blacks. Prevention of abuse in black families requires fundamental changes in their social situation: a guaranteed annual income, low-cost national health insurance, adequate housing, Federal assistance to the frail elderly, tax incentives for caregivers, and a variety of other specific measures. Efforts to date have been limited to mandatory reporting laws and establishment of a few experimental service programs, which do not get to the root of the problem. Footnotes and about 45 references are supplied.