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Incidence and Prevalence of Elder Abuse - Expert Chat Webinar, NIJ and Harvard's Government Innovators Network

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2011
32 pages
This transcript and video of a webinar, hosted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Government Innovators Network, covers three presentations on the findings, methodology, and implications for practice and policy of a NIJ-funded study of the prevalence and features of elder abuse, as well as associated risk and protective factors.
The first presentation reports on the findings and methodology of the study. A nationwide survey found that 11 percent of the elders surveyed reported being the victim of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect in the previous year. Most of this abuse was perpetrated by family members, often spouses (for women, 68 percent of physical violence was by spouses). Differences in the victimization of elderly men and women suggest the need for different treatment and prevention approaches for each gender. The lack of social support was found to be a consistent risk factor for all abuse types. The survey sample consisted of 5,777 adults ages 60 and over (60.2 percent women and 39.8 percent men). The sample was 85 percent White, 7 percent Black, 4.3 percent Hispanic or Latino, 2 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1 percent Asian, and 0.2 percent Pacific Islander. The second presentation focuses on the implications of the study findings for practice. A major conclusion is that adult protective services agencies, which are primarily responsible for addressing elder abuse, have different philosophies and approaches compared to domestic violence programs, which poses a challenge for collaboration between these agencies. The third presentation also addresses the implications of the research, with a focus on the translation of elder abuse research into practice and policy. Figures and references

Date Published: January 1, 2011