Elder Abuse Characteristics Based on Calls to the National Center on Elder Abuse Resource Line

Gali H. Weissberger, Morgan C. Goodman, Laura Mosqueda, Julie Schoen, Annie L. Nguyen, Kathleen H. Wilber, Zachary D. Gassoumis, Caroline P. Nguyen, S. Duke Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Characterizing the types of elder abuse and identifying the characteristics of perpetrators are critically important. This study examined the types of elder abuse reported to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) resource line. Calls were coded with regard to whether abuse was reported, types of abuse alleged, whether multiple abuse subtypes occurred, and who perpetrated the alleged abuse. Of the 1,939 calls, 818 (42.2%) alleged abuse, with financial abuse being the most commonly reported (449 calls, 54.9%). A subset of calls identified multiple abuse types (188, 23.0%) and multiple abusers (149, 18.2%). Physical abuse was most likely to co-occur with another abuse type (61/93 calls, 65.6%). Family members were the most commonly identified perpetrators (309 calls, 46.8%). This study reports the characteristics of elder abuse from a unique source of frontline data, the NCEA resource line. Findings point to the importance of supportive resources for elder abuse victims and loved ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1087
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • abuse and neglect
  • caregiving
  • mistreatment
  • observational studies


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