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Romance Scam Research Center

2018: KR: Functional Decline and Emotional Elder Abuse: a Population-Based Study of Older Korean Adults

Kong, Jooyoung; Jeon, Haesang.  Journal of Family Violence; New York Vol. 33, Iss. 1, (Jan 2018): 17-26. DOI:10.1007/s10896-017-9941-4


"Elder abuse is an increasingly prevalent issue in South Korea. The current study examines the association between functional impairment and emotional abuse victimization in Korean adults 65 and older. We also examines the mediating roles of diverse aspects of family resources (i.e., older adult’s self-esteem, family cohesion, family assistance, contact with friends/neighbors, and participation in social activities) in the aforementioned association. We analyzed 9691 community-dwelling older Koreans from a population-based survey of the 2009 Survey of Elderly Care and Welfare Need. We conducted a path analysis to analyze the mediational hypothesis. About 11% of the study sample reported experiencing emotional abuse by a family member in the past year (n = 1082). The results of the mediational analysis showed that greater ADL/IADL limitations were associated with (a) reduced self-esteem and (b) receiving more assistance from family, which were ultimately associated with increased risk of emotional abuse victimization. Elder abuse is a family crisis that may occur as a result of maladaptation to the heightened long-term care needs of older family members. Practitioners should take into account older adults’ vulnerability in terms of the loss of adaptive resources in the face of functional decline. This study further supports the importance of relieving the burden of family caregivers to avoid the incidence of emotional elder abuse."

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