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African-American seniors at twice the risk for mental abuse, 5 times for financial exploitation
Date:9/28/2010

ty about instances of psychological abuse and financial exploitation occurring within the past 6 months and since they had turned 60. The sample contained 210 African Americans, or 23.2 percent of respondents, which is nearly twice the proportion of African Americans living in Allegheny County, Beach said.

Psychological mistreatment included being yelled at or insulted, having personal property destroyed, and receiving threats of injury, stoppage of care, or being sent to a nursing home. Among African Americans, 24.4 percent reported being abused since turning 60 and 16.1 percent reported psychological mistreatment within the past 6 months. Around half as many non-Black seniors reported abuse with 13.2 percent claiming psychological abuse since turning 60 and 7.2 percent saying it happened within the previous half-year. Interestingly, African Americans were usually less upset by aggressive behavior, yet more African Americans reported being "extremely upset" when deliberately insulted or when their belongings were destroyed.

African Americans reported even higher instances of financial exploitation, which was defined as having checks stolen, having money tampered with, and being made to sign documents they did not understand. Only 8.4 percent of non-African American elders reported being cheated since turning 60 and a mere 2.4 percent said it happened within the past 6 months. On the other hand, 23 percent of African Americans claimed that someone meddled with their money since they turned 60 and 12.9 percent said it occurred recently.

Most striking about the team's findings was that the racial disparity in mental abuse or financial exploitation was not explained by additional factors such as education, health, age, or socioeconomic status, Beach said. On average, African Americans in the survey tended to be slightly younger, less educated, and more likely to be single, divorced, or widowed. Nonetheless, non-African Americans of similar me
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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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