Category Archives: Elder abuse

New issue: Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25(5)


Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25(5), Sept/Oct 2007 is now online and includes a special section on Elder Issues edited by John Petrila. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Short-term involuntary examination of older adults in Florida – Annette Christy, Jennifer Bond, M. Scott Young
  • Elderly homicide in Chicago: a research note – Seena Fazel, Mieko Bond, Gautam Gulati, Ian O’Donnell
  • The relationship between guardian certification requirements and guardian sanctioning: a research issue in elder law and policy – Winsor C. Schmidt, Fevzi Akinci, Sarah A. Wagner
  • A comparative study of laws, rules, codes and other influences on nursing homes’ disaster preparedness in the Gulf Coast states – Lisa M. Brown, Kathryn Hyer, LuMarie Polivka-West
  • Elders in the justice system: how the system treats elders in trials, during imprisonment, and on death row – L. Beth Gaydon, Monica K. Miller
  • Elder research: filling an important gap in psychology and law – Eve M. Brank
  • Levels of psychopathy and its correlates: a study of incarcerated youths in three states – Richard Dembo, Nancy Jainchill, Charles Turner, Chunki Fong, Sarah Farkas, Kristina Childs
  • Predictive validity of the Dutch PCL:YV for institutional disruptive behavior: findings from two samples of male adolescents in a juvenile justice treatment institution – Jacqueline Das, Corine de Ruiter, Henny Lodewijks, Theo Doreleijers

Quick links


Quick links from around the web and blogosphere:

Mind Hacks (12 July) discusses recent commentary by Bruce Schneier on why terrorism fails, who in turn is commenting on a paper [pdf] by Max Abrahms (abstract over at the Terrorism Blog)

Also thanks to Mind Hacks, a pointer to an article in the Journal of Forensic Sciences outlining the case histories of two serial killers, which, the authors say “illustrate the wide spectrum of variations in the backgrounds, demographics, motivations, and actions witnessed among serial murderers, and highlight the limitations and dangers of profiling based on generalities”.

Wray Herbert on the Association of Psychological Science blog We’re Only Human (10 July) explores the links between alcohol and aggression, the subject of an article in the latest issue of Psychological Science. Herbert concludes:

It appears that alcohol has the potential to both increase and decrease aggression, depending on where’s one’s attention is focused.

The Situationist (10 July) discuss what happens When Thieves See Situation: apparently con artists are exploiting information collected via the market research of major corporations, using it to target elderly victims:

Publicly held companies… compile and sell lists of consumers. Con artists purchase the lists from the companies’ websites, then pose as telemarketers in order to obtain senior citizens’ bank account numbers. Finally, the thieves use unsigned checks to steal money from the accounts.

What caused the drop in crime in the late 1990s? Stephen Levitt on the Freakonomics Blog, Johan Lehrer at The Frontal Cortex, and Steve Sailer on iSteve evaluate a theory put forward by Rick Nevin, an economist, as described in a recent Washington Post article (8 July):

The theory offered … is that lead poisoning accounts for much of the variation in violent crime in the United States. It offers a unifying new neurochemical theory for fluctuations in the crime rate, and it is based on studies linking children’s exposure to lead with violent behavior later in their lives.

Providentia (15 July) ponders the phenomenon of copycat suicides in When Dying Becomes Fashionable.

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 27 (15 July) is up over at Abyss2Hope

Update on a previous story: Anne Reed at the Deliberations jury blog carefully takes apart Bruce Spencer’s “juries get it wrong” study (pdf) to examine whether the conclusions are warranted, and lawyer Mark Bennett adds some further explanation.

Photo credit: bigeoino, Creative Commons License

New issue: Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25(3)

journalsBehavioral Sciences & the Law 25(3) (May/June 2007) is now online, and is a special issue on “Elder Issues”, edited by John Petrila. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Guardianship determinations by judges, attorneys, and guardians – Melanie Gavisk, Edith Greene
  • The perceived credibility of older adults as witnesses and its relation to ageism – Katrin Mueller-Johnson, Michael P. Toglia, Charlotte D. Sweeney, Stephen J. Ceci
  • Gray, black, and blue: the state of research and intervention for intimate partner abuse among elders – Sarah L Desmarais, Kim A Reeves
  • Decision-making capacity in elderly, terminally ill patients with cancer – Brooke Myers Sorger, Barry Rosenfeld, Hayley Pessin, Anne Kosinski Timm, James Cimino
  • Granny, (don’t) get your gun: competency issues in gun ownership by older adults – Edith Greene, Brian H. Bornstein, Hannah Dietrich
  • Statutory reform is associated with improved court practice: results of a tri-state comparison – Jennifer Moye, Erica Wood, Barry Edelstein, Stacey Wood, Emily H. Bower, Julie A. Harrison, Jorge C. Armesto

Elder abuse ‘affecting thousands’

elderVia BBC News (14 June):

Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are being abused in their own homes, research suggests. The study, funded by the government and Comic Relief, suggests that in eight out of 10 cases the abuser is someone well known to the elderly person.

[…] The UK Study of Abuse and Neglect report said the survey meant as many as 342,000 older people might have been victims of abuse, ranging from financial fraud to emotional abuse and even assault.

The report also said the research suggested 105,000 people in the UK had suffered 10 or more separate instances of neglect.

The full report, which was compiled by a team of researchers from the National Centre for Social Research and from King’s College London, can be downloaded in pdf format via this page, which also provides links to a summary of the report (pdf) and the press release (word doc).

Previous PCN posts on elder abuse here.


Photo credit: loungerie, Creative Commons License

Study finds many older women also victims of partner violence

Research published in the latest issue of The Gerontologist reports on the scale of intimate partner violence experienced by older women (Ohio State University press release, 5 March):

About one in four women older than 65 has been the victim of physical, sexual or psychological violence at the hands of a spouse or other intimate partner, according to a study done in two northwestern states. About 3.5 percent of the women surveyed had suffered violence in the past five years, and 2.2 percent in the past year. “Intimate partner violence is not a problem only for younger women,” said Amy Bonomi, lead author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.


  • Amy E. Bonomi, Melissa L. Anderson, Robert J. Reid, David Carrell, Paul A. Fishman, Frederick P. Rivara, and Robert S. Thompson (2007). Intimate Partner Violence in Older Women. The Gerontologist 47:34-41

Seniors As Victims of Crime

From Statistics Canada, a report on nature and prevalence of violent and property crimes against seniors, released 6 March:

With the increasing proportion of seniors in Canada, there has been a growing concern about their risk of becoming victims of crime. Using data from self-reported victimization and police-reported surveys, this profile examines the nature and prevalence of violent and property crimes against seniors. The report also examines characteristics of offences committed against seniors, the level of reporting to the police and the proportion of incidents involving weapons and causing injuries to senior victims. Furthermore, information on seniors’ fear of crime, the prevalence of spousal abuse and seniors’ risk of telemarketing fraud is also presented. According to self-reported and police reported data, seniors’ experience the lowest levels of violent and property crimes compared to their younger counterparts. However, seniors may be more vulnerable to telemarketing fraud. Seniors’ level of satisfaction with their overall personal safety has improved over the last five years.

Full text here.

New issue: Western Criminology Review 7(3)

journalsA new issue of The Western Criminology Review is now online. Access to all articles is free.

Contents include:

  • Research: A Practitioner’s Perspective, From the Streets – commentary by William J. Bratton
  • The Distribution of Property Crime and Police Arrest Rates Across Los Angeles Neighborhoods – John B. Davis
  • Self-Restraint: A Study on the Capacity and Desire for Self-Control – John K. Cochran, Valentina Aleksa, and Mitchell B. Chamlin
  • Testing the General Theory of Crime: Comparing the Effects of “Imprudent Behavior” and an Attitudinal Indicator of “Low Self-Control” – Bruce J. Arneklev, Lori Elis, and Sandra Medlicott
  • The “Rural Mystique”: Social Disorganization and Violence Beyond Urban Communities – Leanna Allen Bouffard and Lisa R. Muftic
  • The Criminal Justice Response to Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes: A Routine Activities Perspective – Brian K. Payne and Randy R. Gainey

New articles of forensic relevance in non-forensic psych journals

Sorry about the length – these have been building up a bit, but below the fold, articles on child abuse, intimate partner violence, juvenile victims and offenders, offender treatment and rehabilitation, terrorism, aggression and violence, rape, psychopathy, stalking and Tourette’s.
Continue reading New articles of forensic relevance in non-forensic psych journals

Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect 16(2)

A Gendered Analysis of the Abuse of Older Adults: Evidence from
Elder Abuse in Africa: What Policy and Legal Provisions Are There to Address the Violence?
Creating an Intergenerational Learning Community for the Study of Elder Abuse
A Conceptual Framework of Financial Exploitation of Older Persons
Iowa Family Physician’s Reporting of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is pervasive and requires urgent response

Cornell University Press ReleaseSept. 30, 2004
Cornell gerontologists say elder abuse is pervasive and requires urgent response
A substantial number of older persons — from 2 to 10 percent of the elderly population — are physically or mentally abused, and mistreated seniors are three times more likely to die within three years than those who are not abused, report two Cornell University gerontologists in this week’s issue of the medical journal The Lancet. Reviewing more than 50 articles, Karl Pillemer, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell, has collaborated with Dr. Mark S. Lachs, co-chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, on a detailed review in The Lancet (Vol. 364, Oct. 2: pp. 1192-1263) on the risk factors, screening, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of elder abuse.