Elder abuse (EA) is a pervasive problem with serious consequences. Previous population-based EA risk factor research has largely used cross-sectional designs that limit causal inferences, or agency records to identify victims, which threatens external validity. Based on a national, prospective, population-based cohort sample of older adults (n = 23,468) over a 3-year period from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, the current study sought to estimate the prevalence of EA and identify risk and protective factors. Past-year prevalence of any EA was 10.0%. Older adults with greater vulnerability related to physical, cognitive and mental health, childhood maltreatment and shared living were at higher EA risk, while social support was protective against EA. Older adults identifying as Black or reporting financial need were at heightened EA risk. This longitudinal, population-based study advances our understanding of EA risk/protective factors across several domains and informs the development of EA prevention strategies.
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Please note that due to privacy and ethical/legal issues for the CLSA participants, data are only available from the CLSA (https://www.clsa-elcv.ca/) for researchers who meet the criteria for access to de-identified CLSA data.
Custom code or mathematical algorithms were not used in the current study. However, please see Supplementary Information Appendix A for the SPSS-generated syntax underlying the analyses in this study.
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This research was made possible using the data/biospecimens collected by the CLSA. Funding for the CLSA is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research under grant reference LSA 94473 and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, as well as the provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. This research was conducted using the CLSA Baseline Tracking Dataset version 3.5, Comprehensive Dataset version 4.1, Follow-up 1 Tracking Dataset version 2.1, Comprehensive Dataset version 3.0 under application ID 1906012. The CLSA is led by P. Raina, C. Wolfson and S. Kirkland. The opinions expressed in this paper are the authors’ own and do not reflect the views of the CLSA. This project received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (4500415616, to D.B.). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Burnes, D., Pillemer, K., Rosen, T. et al. Elder abuse prevalence and risk factors: findings from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Nat Aging 2, 784–795 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-022-00280-2
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