225777 Elder Abuse and The Multiple Hit Hypothesis

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:45 PM - 2:00 PM

Pamela B. Teaster, PhD , Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Rodney Guttmann, PhD , Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Marta S. Mendiondo, PhD , Department of Biostatistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
James Grace, BSW, BS , Division of Protection and Permancy, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Frankfort, KY
Using data from Kentucky's The Worker Information System (TWIST), which houses 30 years of data on Child Protective Services (CPS) cases as well as Adult Protective Services (APS) cases, we found characteristics of abused elders: female, Caucasian, approximately 75 years of age, problems with cognitive capacity, and needing assistance with at least one Activity of Daily Living. These characteristics are common among individuals not victims, thus we hypothesize that elder abuse is better modeled by a multiple-hit, rather than a single-hit hypothesis. The multiple hit hypothesis is valuable in explaining a variety of biological-based conditions in which a single factor is not sufficient to cause cellular dysfunction. Testing this hypothesis we examine common societal factors in cases involving children under 18 who entered CPS and then APS. We expect that within this cohort, multiple factors converge: being female, having cognitive impairment, and needing assistance with at least one ADL. Further, in cases in which two or more socially related ‘hits' are not observed, another environmental or biological factor is involved. To determine potential biological ‘hits' a thorough examination of individual reports for linkages to other family members involved in individual reports as well as those of other family members reported as a unique case within TWIST are used to examine familial relationships related to age of first report in CPH, gender, family relationship of victim to perpetrator and to other victims, victim physical and mental functioning, socioeconomic factors, living environment, settings of abuse, and types and frequency of abuse.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the Multiple Hit Hypothesis and its relation to elder abuse.

Keywords: Aging, Battered Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have researched the topic of elder abuse for over 12 years and have published over 30 peer-reviewed papers and reports on the topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4188.0: Elder Abuse Symposium