Description: The rationale for this study was based on the application of the cycle of domestic violence theory to elder abuse. It examined the effect of history of experienced childhood violence on tolerance, behavioral intentions, and past behaviors of elder abuse toward general and specific elderly targets. The effectiveness of educational interventions for altering tolerance and behavioral intentions of elder abuse was examined. Two hundred and twenty-five undergraduates were assessed for aging knowledge, general aging attitudes, aging anxiety, elder abuse attitudes, and elder abuse intentions and past behaviors. Participants were assigned to a High or Low Experienced Violence group and participated in an educational group or control group. Posttest and one-month followup measures were obtained. No differences were found at pretest between High and Low Violence. Level of Violence did not impact intervention efficacy. Elder abuse education altered attitudes, intentions, and behaviors of elder abuse at posttest significantly more than did aging education or control groups (p < .001), but these effects were no longer significant at followup. Elder abuse attitudes had higher relationships with elder abuse intentions and reported past behaviors than did global aging attitudes or aging anxiety (p < .05). General elderly targets yielded more tolerance, intentions, and reported past behaviors of elder abuse than did specific elderly targets (p < .001). Experienced childhood abuse was unrelated to elder abuse expression yielding no support for the role of cycle of violence in elder abuse. Specificity of target mediated elder abuse attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. Primary prevention interventions which aim to reduce tolerance and intentions of elder abuse should include specific information on elder abuse; aging education is ineffective for this goal.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Reinberg, Julie A. (Julie Ann)
Partner: UNT Libraries