New research provides insight into elder abuse incidence, risks

Nearly 1 in 10 Chinese older adults become new victims of elder abuse every two years.
By Amy Wallace   |   June 15, 2017 at 1:21 PM
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June 15 (UPI) -- A recent study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago examined the impact of elder abuse in America including its prevalence, risks and outcomes, with researchers reporting the issue is complex and affects more older adults than many think.

Researchers utilized data from the Chinese community in Chicago for the study, which was published in the June edition of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

"What we're finding is that elder abuse is an extremely complex problem, with severe consequences regarding psychological well-being," Dr. XinQi Dong, a professor at Rush University, said in a press release. "Patterns of victimization may be influenced by the older adults' health, intergenerational relationships, and other social determinants like culture."

Researchers analyzed data from the PINE and PIETY population-based studies of more than 3,000 Chinese older adults and their adult children in the Chicago area.

The study showed nearly 1 in 10 Chinese older adults become new victims of elder abuse every two years and risk factors vary based on the type of abuse.

Adult children who were abused as children were almost twice as likely to abuse their elderly parents compared to those who were not abuse as children.

Victims of elder abuse were 2 to 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-victims.

"Examining elder abuse in the U.S. Chinese community sheds light on the potential cultural nuances of elder abuse," Dong said. "Perpetrators of elder abuse tend to be family members, but adherence to collectivism or familism and lack of institutional support may deter Chinese Americans from asking for help."

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