Development of a Causal Model for Elder Mistreatment


  • Carolyn E. Ziminski Pickering R.N., Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Nursing, Michigan State University, Michigan
    • Correspondence to:

      Carolyn E. Ziminski Pickering, College of Nursing, Michigan State University, 1355 Bouge Street, Bott Building, Rm C349, East Lansing, MI 48824. E-mail:

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  • Linda R. Phillips Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

    1. Center for the Advancement of Gerontological Nursing Science, University of California, Los Angeles, California
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Elder mistreatment (EM) is an act committed by a person in a trusted relationship with an elderly person. Through the process of theory synthesis, a new model was developed, which explains the development of aggression (physical and verbal) toward elders by adult children in EM. The proposed model is set within the context of intimate partner violence and emphasizes that rather than arising in caregiving, aggression may be evident in the pre-caregiving relationship and continue into caregiving situations. An understanding of the causal origins of EM is essential in designing intervention to help families have healthy relationships.