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Identification of Risk and Protective Factors for Elder Financial Exploitation

NCJ Number
Date Published
Stacey Wood Ph.D.
Publication Type
Grant Report
This project’s goal was to develop a conceptual model that includes risk and protective factors for the financial exploitation of elder adults (FE).
The study notes that although FE can occur at any stage of a victim’s life, studies document that older adults are disproportionately targeted, and they are less likely to report FE. The framework for this project was derived from known risk factors for FE, predicted protective factors for FE, and conceptual approaches from the child mistreatment literature on risk and resilience. Two waves of data collection occurred, each involving approximately 200 older adults. In developing the conceptual model from the research, it is advised that social interaction that is central in older adults’ lives is essential in designing prevention and intervention programs. Since FE cases can be specific to each case, designing prevention or intervention around reducing negative exchanges with close others might not be easy; however, based on the data obtained in this study, this is an effective way to reduce FE risk. Poor physical health and depression were also determined to be predictive of FE, so incorporating ways to improve both physical and mental health should be considered a universal approach for reducing FE risk when a client-centered approach is not feasible. Addressing perceived social isolation, which tends to occur in depressed individuals, was more effective than interventions designed to improve social support or increase opportunities for social contact. The findings of this research should provide criminal justice policymakers with baseline information on how common different types of FE offenses are in a representative sample. 2 tables and 12 references
Date Created: August 13, 2017