Multiethnic perspectives on elder mistreatment

Charles P. Mouton, Anne C. Larme, Cynthia L. Alford, Melissa A. Talamantes, Ryan J. McCorkle, Sandra K. Burge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: We conducted this study to understand the interpretations of elder mistreatment (EM) in multiethnic older adults. Design and Methods: Focus group sessions were held with three ethnically homogenous groups (n = 18) and a group of eldercare professionals (n = 6) eliciting responses to vignettes depicting various types of elder mistreatment. Qualitative analysis of focus group transcripts was performed to define EM occurrence, its severity, and to identify the perpetrator and victim. Results: Four main categories emerged: social expectations, caregiver expectations, victim characteristics, and characteristics of the interaction. Themes included issues of gender roles, filial obligations, martial commitments, and ageism as features of the vignette discussions. Professional and lay caregiver issues were features of the caregiver expectations. Mental capacity, physical dependency, physical attributes, and complicity were the victim characteristics discussed. The characteristics of the interaction that were identified included resistance to care, retaliation, habitual occurrence, and perpetrator intent. Implications: Older adults identify multiple factors influencing the interpretation of elder mistreatment. These factors may determine strategies for future EM intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-44
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Elder mistreatment
  • Elderly
  • Ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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