Background: This study examined the prevalence and risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) among Chinese older couples in Hong Kong.
Methods: A population representative sample was surveyed.
Results: The prevalence of IPV in older adults was found to be quite high in the present study, with a lifetime prevalence ranging from 1.4% to 53.6%, and a past year prevalence ranging from 0.4% to 36.1% for various forms of aggression. Results of logistic regression analyses showed that older persons who were younger among this “older” group, who were not employed, who had a substance abuse problem, who had witnessed parental violence during their childhood, who had a criminal history, who had a low level of assertiveness, who had an anger management problem, who experienced a low level of social support and/or experienced stressful conditions, were all more likely to fall victims of IPV.
Conclusion: It is suggested that IPV in older couples is a complex phenomenon that is closely intertwined with other forms of domestic violence, including spousal violence, child abuse, in-law conflicts, and elderly adult abuse. Thus, before we have more definitive and concrete evidence that IPV in older couples should definitively come under the category of elder abuse or IPV, it is advisable to treat it under its own separate category of family violence.