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Russian Perspectives on Elder Abuse: An Exploratory Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect Volume: 18 Issue: 2/3 Dated: 2006 Pages: 123-139
Karina Rinsky ALM; Kathleen Malley-Morrison Ed.D.
Date Published
17 pages
This study solicited conceptions of elder abuse (an adult child against an elderly parent) from 21 Russian individuals (10 men, 10 women, and 1 respondent without gender identified), and respondents rated the severity of each type of abuse as extreme, moderate, or mild.
Most examples of extreme elder abuse were forms of physical violence. Typical examples of moderate abuse involved psychological aggression, particularly verbal aggression, and neglect. The most frequent examples of mild abuse involved some type of verbal aggression and neglect. There were gender differences in the number of references to psychological aggression in general and to verbal aggression in particular in the examples of moderate abuse, with women providing more examples than men. One unexpected finding was the few examples of economic abuse. This was unexpected because it is logical to expect that due to the economic hardship of older people in Russia, more references would have been made to their economic abuse. None of the respondents mentioned sexual aggression against aging family members as a form of abuse. Perhaps sexual abuse of older family members is unheard of in Russia, either because it does not occur or is hidden. Of the 21 participants, 15 were international students living outside of Russia who identified themselves as Russian and indicated that both their parents were Russians born in Russia. The other six respondents were Russian citizens living in Russia at the time of their participation in the study. The current study drew data from Russian participants in the Cross-cultural Survey on Family Violence and Abuse, which solicited examples and severity ratings for various types of abuse between pairs of family members. The current study used only the data from the section on abuse of elderly parents by their adult children. 1 table and 18 references