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Prevalence of Elder Polyvictimization in the United States: Data From the National Elder Mistreatment Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 35 Issue: 21-22 Dated: 2020 Pages: 4517-4532
Date Published
November 2020
16 pages

This study evaluates the prevalence of elder polyvictimization among a nationally representative sample of community-residing U.S. older adults.


Elder abuse, including emotional, physical, sexual, financial, and neglectful mistreatment is widespread in the United States, with as much as 11% of community-residing older adults experiencing some form of abuse in the past year. Little data exist regarding the prevalence of polyvictimization, or experience of multiple forms of abuse, which may exacerbate negative outcomes over that of any one form of victimization in isolation. Data from the National Elder Mistreatment Study were examined using bivariate and logistic regression analyses. Approximately, 1.7% of older adults experienced past-year polyvictimization, for which risk factors included problems accomplishing activities of daily living (odds ratio [OR] = 2.47), low social support (OR = 1.64), and past experience of traumatic events (OR = 4.81). Elder polyvictimization is a serious problem affecting community-residing older adults with identifiable targets for intervention. (Publisher abstract provided)


Date Published: November 1, 2020