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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 920324, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/920324
Research Article

Physical Mistreatment in Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease

1The Harrell Center for The Study of Family Violence, Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2School of Health and Human Services, Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent Street, Lang House, New Haven, CT 06515, USA
3Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
4Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Received 13 September 2012; Accepted 28 October 2012

Academic Editor: Karl Rosengren

Copyright © 2013 Carla VandeWeerd et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Physical mistreatment has been estimated to affect 2 million older persons each year and dramatically affects health outcomes. While researchers have attempted to examine risk factors for specific forms of abuse, many have been able to focus on only victim or perpetrator characteristics, or a limited number of psychosocial variables at any one time. Additionally, data on risk factors for subgroups such as persons with Alzheimer’s disease who may have heightened and/or unique risk profiles has also been limited. This paper examines risk for physical violence in caregiver/patient dyads who participated in the Aggression and Violence in Community-Based Alzheimer’s Families Grant. Data were collected via in-person interview and mailed survey and included demographics as well as measures of violence, physical and emotional health, and health behaviors. Logistic regression analysis indicated that caregivers providing care to elders with high levels of functional impairment or dementia symptoms, or who had alcohol problems, were more likely to use violence as a conflict resolution strategy, as were caregivers who were providing care to elders who used violence against them. By contrast, caregivers with high self-esteem were less likely to use violence as a conflict resolution strategy. Significant interaction effects were also noted.