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Researching Elder Abuse

  • Jim Ogg (a1) and Carol Munn-Giddings (a2)

Abstract

There is a growing interest among several disciplines in the phenomenon of the abuse of elderly people (elder abuse). This article examines how elder abuse is being constructed as a social problem and the particular conceptual difficulties which sets elder abuse apart from other forms of family violence. American elder abuse research findings are discussed focusing upon the difficulties of developing indicators of ‘abuse’ and the consequent problems of comparing findings. A lack of British research on elder abuse is noted and this deficit is examined with reference to the methodological and ethical issues of researching a sensitive topic. The way in which the research process interacts with and influences our understanding of elder abuse is examined in the light of these considerations. The article concludes with a call for greater awareness of these issues in future research on elder abuse.

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Researching Elder Abuse

  • Jim Ogg (a1) and Carol Munn-Giddings (a2)

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