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Elder Abuse and Neglect

  1. Deborah Heiser1,
  2. Patricia Brownell2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0298

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Heiser, D. and Brownell, P. 2010. Elder Abuse and Neglect. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    State Society on Aging of New York

  2. 2

    Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Elder abuse does not discriminate. Older adults from all walks of life, regardless of socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, race, or ethnicity, have been mistreated and abused. It is difficult to determine the prevalence of elder abuse. First, it is not a single easily measurable phenomenon. There are seven types of elder abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. We do not know the exact prevalence of elder abuse, because it is often underreported and often unidentified. The National Center on Elder Abuse (2005) estimated that as many as 2 million elders have been mistreated.