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Using Latent Class Analysis To Identify Profiles of Elder Abuse Perpetrators

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2018
10 pages
In order to avoid the assumption of elder-abuse perpetrator homogeneity and to inform intervention approaches, this study classified abusers of elderly persons into subtypes according to their behavioral profiles.
Data were obtained from the Older Adult Mistreatment Assessment administered to victims by Adult Protective Service (APS) in Illinois. Latent class analysis was used to categorize abusers (N = 336) by using victim and caseworker reports on abusers' harmful and supportive behaviors and characteristics. Multinomial logistic regression was then used to determine which abuser profiles are associated with four types of mistreatment (neglect, physical, emotional, and financial) and other sociodemographic characteristics. Abusers were placed into four profiles, which were descriptively labeled as “Caregiver,” “Temperamental,” “Dependent Caregiver,” and “Dangerous.” “Dangerous” abusers have the highest levels of aggression, financial dependency, substance abuse, and irresponsibility. “Caregivers” are lowest in harmful characteristics and highest in providing emotional and instrumental support to victims. These four profiles differ significantly in the average age and gender of the abuser, the relationship to victims, and types of mistreatment committed. This is the first quantitative study to identify and characterize abuser subtypes. Tailored interventions are needed to reduce problem behaviors and enhance strengths specific to each abuser profile. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: June 1, 2018