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Characteristics Associated with Psychological, Physical, Sexual Abuse, Caregiver Neglect and Financial Exploitation in U.S. Chinese Older Adults: Findings from the Population-Based Cohort Study in the Greater Chicago Area

1 Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA;
2 Rush University Medical Center Department of Behavioral Sciences, IL, USA;
3 Rush University Medical Center Department of Medicine, IL, USA

Special Issues: The Population Study of Chinese Elderly-PINE Study

This study examined the socio-demographic and health related characteristics of elder mistreatment (EM) in a community-dwelling older Chinese population. Methods: Guided by a community-based participatory research approach, the PINE study conducted in-person interviews with 3,159 U.S. Chinese older adults aged 60 years and older in the Greater Chicago area from 2011–2013. Participants answered questions regarding psychological, physical and sexual mistreatment, caregiver neglect, and financial exploitation. Definitional approaches for EM subtypes were constructed from least restrictive to most restrictive. Results: The sociodemographic and health-related characteristics associated with EM differed by type of mistreatment and by the operational definition used. Living with fewer people, having been born in countries other than China, poorer health status, and lower quality of life were significantly correlated with physical mistreatment. Only higher education was positively and significantly associated with sexual mistreatment and only poorer health status was consistently correlated with psychological mistreatment among all definitions. Male gender, higher educational levels, higher income, fewer children, and having been in the U.S. for fewer years were significantly correlated with financial exploitation. As for caregiver neglect, older age, having more children, having been in the U.S. for more years, poorer health status, lower quality of life, and worsening health over the past year were consistently correlated with caregiver neglect with different definitions. Conclusions: Prevention and intervention programs on EM should be geared towards specific types of mistreatment. Studies on EM should conduct a thorough analysis to justify the operational definition used.
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