The problem of Elder Abuse: review of foreign investigations



The article analyzes the empirical findings obtained by foreign scholars and centered on the problem of Elder Abuse. It also contains the description of some elaborated strategies to resist the criminal victimization of the elderly. The article cites data about the crimes against the elderly persons in different countries. It also describes theoretical approaches to understanding the reasons for Elder Abuse. It then compares and analyzes the risk factors for some crimes committed against the elders which are disclosed by foreign scholars. With reference to conclusions drawn by the foreign investigators the author of the article indicates the possible ways of victimological prophylaxes of crimes against elders.

General Information

Keywords: criminal victimization of elders; risk factors; abuse, neglect; perspectives of prophylaxes

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology and Age-Related Psychology

Article type: review article

For citation: Gorfan Y.Y. The problem of Elder Abuse: review of foreign investigations [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2013. Vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 51–59. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Acierno R. Assessing elder victimization: Demonstration of a methodology / Rот Acierno, Heidi Resnick, Dean Kilpatrick, Wendy Stark-Riemer // Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2003. Vol. 38. P. 644–653.
  2. Action on elder abuse annual report of trustees and financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2011 [Electronic resource]. London, 2011. URL:
  3. Age concern new zeland annual report 37 [Electronic resource]. Wellington, 2010. URL:
  4. Age concern new zeland elder abuse and neglect prevention – challenges for the future [Electronic resource]. Wellington, 2007. URL:
  5. Chockalingam K., Srinivasan M. Criminal victimization of elders: A psycho/social coping model analysis // International Perspectives in Victimology. 2010. Vol. 5, № 1. P. 20–28.
  6. Choi N.G., Mayer J. Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation: risk factors and prevention strategies // Journal of Gerontological Social Work. 2000. Vol. 33, № 2. P. 5–25.
  7. Garre-Olmo J. Prevalence and risk factors of suspected elder abuse subtypes in people aged 75 and older / Josep Garre-Olmo, Xe`nia Planas-Pujol, Secundino Lo. pez-Pousa, Dolors Juvinya`, Antoni Vila`, Joan Vilalta-Franch // Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 2009. Vol. 57, № 5. P. 815–822.
  8. Heap B. Criminal victimisation of the elderly [Electronic resource]: Have rates of crime against the elderly changed relative to overall crime rates? // Internet Journal of Criminology. 2008. URL:
  9. James M. Understanding and responding to crime and older people [Electronic resource]. Canberra, 2001. URL:
  10. Klaus P. Crimes against Persons Age 65 or Older, 1993–2002 (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report) // Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2005. 4p.
  11.  Leonard J.M., Jurica J.V., Norman J. Elder abuse [Electronic resource]: Cultural contexts and implications. Sacramento: CA, 2011. URL:
  12. Lowenstein A. Is elder abuse and neglect a social phenomenon? Data from the First National Prevalence Survey in Israel / A. Lowenstein, Z. Eisikovits, T. Band-Winterstein, G. Enosh // Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect. 2009. Vol. 21, № 3. P. 253–277.
  13. Pain R. Theorizing age in criminology: The case of elder abuse // The British Criminology Conferences: Selected Proceedings. 1999.
  14. Patterson M., Malley-Morisson K. A cognitive-ecological approach to elder abuse in five cultures: Human rights and education // Educational Gerontology. 2006. Vol. 32, № 1. P. 73–82.
  15. Perel-Levin S. Discussing screening for elder abuse at primary health care level [Electronic resource]. Geneva, 2008. URL:
  16. Powell J. Wahidin A. Old age and victims [Electronic resource]: A critical exegesis and an agenda for change // Internet Journal of Criminology, 2007. URL:
  17. World Health Organization a global response to elder abuse and neglect [Electronic resource]: Building primary health care capacity to deal with the problem worldwide: Main Report. Geneva, 2008. URL:

Information About the Authors

Y Y. Gorfan, Post graduate student, Moscow State University of Psychology and education, the faculty of forensic psychology, the chair of criminal psychology, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



Total: 2148
Previous month: 2
Current month: 2


Total: 1524
Previous month: 0
Current month: 1