​Aging and risk: physical and sexual abuse of elders in Canada

Author(s) Brozowski, Kari and David R. Hall
Title Aging and risk: physical and sexual abuse of elders in Canada
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence; 2010, Vol. 25, No. 7, p 1183-1199
Date 2010
Document type Journal article
CoverageCanada
Summary In this article the authors review the literature on elder abuse, including an examination of theoretical perspectives of an ageist and sexist society. Data for the study was obtained from the 1999 Canadian General Social Survey, with 22,147 respondents aged 65 years or older responding that they had experienced physical and/or sexual assault. The analysis found that the most prominent risk factors associated with elder abuse were being a victim of sexual assault prior to age 60 and having an Aboriginal background. Age was found to have a complex impact on the relative risk and it was found that both the young-old group aged 65-69 and the old-old group aged 76-80 had a greater chance of assault than those in reference middle-old age group aged 70-75. Another important risk factor was marital status with widowed elders having half the risk of assault as the married reference group and divorced elders with a higher chance of assault than the married group. In line with previous research it was found that women experienced sexual/physical assault almost three times more than men do. Limitations of the study are acknowledged including the major limitation that the victim reports of abuse do not contain any information on who is abusing them.
Keywords Elder abuse; physical or sexual abuse; risk theory; Aboriginal; statistical model
Topic Elder abuse