U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Conceptualizing and Measuring Financial Exploitation and Psychological Abuse of Elderly Individuals

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2009
197 pages
This research developed concept "maps," theoretical hierarchies, and measures to be used in screening and detecting financial exploitation and psychological abuse of older adults (60 years old or older).
The research developed procedures for obtaining sensitive information about financial exploitation and psychological abuse from suspected or substantiated elderly clients. Also developed was an empirically tested abuse measure that obtains information from the client's perspective. Other products from the research are conceptual frameworks for financial exploitation (Conrad, Ridings, Iris, et al., in press) and psychological abuse of the elderly (Conrad, Iris, Ridings, et al., in press). These products are expected to result in improved services for elderly persons in this neglected area, as well as tools for further research. They may help researchers better collect data on this issue through more accurate victim and third-party reporting. Better measurement of these abuses of elderly persons will also enable practitioners to screen clients more efficiently, systematically, and accurately, leading to more effective interventions. In phase 1 of the project, the research team used concept "mapping" with input from 16 experts in the field in order to conceptualize and organize measure development for the 2 abuse constructs. Phase 2 consisted of a feasibility study of a financial exploitation measure and a psychological abuse measure based on the concept map and input from the expert panel. Focus groups and cognitive interviews at community sites were used to develop procedures for obtaining sensitive information on financial exploitation and psychological abuse, as well as to develop new items and refine existing items for assessing these areas. Phase 3 was a full-scale field test of the 2 abuse subcomponents, with data collection that involved 227 substantiated elder abuse clients and their 22 elder-abuse investigators. A psychometric analysis was conducted on data from client self-reports. 28 tables, 2 figures, 50 references, and appended questionnaires, the 2 product articles, and table and scales for financial exploitation and psychological abuse

Date Published: August 1, 2009