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The social construction of social problems: the case of elder abuse and neglect

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2013

Zvi Eisikovits
School of Criminology, Center for the Study of Society, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel
Chaya Koren
School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, and Center for the Study of Society, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel
Tova Band-Winterstein*
Department of Gerontology and Center for the Study of Aging in the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel
Correspondence should be addressed to: Tova Band-Winterstein, PhD, Lecturer in the Department of Gerontology and Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Aging in the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel. Phone: +972-4-8342-865. Email:


The interaction and inter-penetrability overlap of abuse and neglect has been previously described. Therefore, the question is not whether a distinction can be made between the two, but how specific events are constructed into abuse and/or neglect based on how each of the protagonists involved (researchers, professional workers, family members, and the older persons themselves) make sense of abuse and neglect. The purpose of this paper is to explore the social and psychological construction of elder abuse and neglect and illustrate the theoretical constructs using case material and its application to the field.

Special Issue Research Articles
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2013 

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