Interpersonal dysfunction predicts subsequent financial exploitation vulnerability in a sample of adults over 50: a prospective observational study

Aaron C. Lim, Laura Mosqueda, Annie L. Nguyen, Tyler B. Mason, Gali H. Weissberger, Laura Fenton, Peter Lichtenberg, S. Duke Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The goal of this study was to test whether interpersonal dysfunction, characterized by loneliness and/or dissatisfaction with relationships, is an imminent predictor of financial exploitation vulnerability (FEV) among adults age 50+ within a 6-month observation period. This study also tests whether FEV prospectively predicts interpersonal dysfunction. Methods: Twenty-six adults aged 50 or older completed a study involving baseline data collection and 13 follow-ups over 6 months. Linear mixed models were used for primary analyses. Results: After adjustment for demographic, psychological and cognitive covariates, there were between-person effects of FEV and interpersonal dysfunction across follow-ups, suggesting that those with generally higher interpersonal dysfunction compared to other participants also reported greater FEV (B(SE) = 1.09(.33), p =.003). There was a within-person effect (B(SE) =.08(.03), p =.007) of elevated interpersonal dysfunction predicting greater FEV two weeks later across all follow-ups. Within-person effect of FEV was not predictive of interpersonal dysfunction (B(SE) =.25(.15), p =.10). There was also a significant effect of age (B(SE) = –.06(.02), p =.007), such that older individuals had lower FEV throughout follow-ups. Conclusion: Among adults age 50+, individuals with higher interpersonal dysfunction relative to others in the study reported greater FEV throughout the 6-month observation period. Increased loneliness and social dissatisfaction, relative to one’s average level, predicts subsequent increases in FEV, and may be an imminent risk factor for exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
Early online date18 May 2022
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge Madison Nii and Caroline Nguyen for their expert technical assistance in completing this manuscript. Some participants from the present study were recruited with the help of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry has been supported by the Alzheimer’s Association, Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation, Flinn Foundation, Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative, GHR Foundation, and the state of Arizona (Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the named funders.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Longitudinal change
  • abuse/neglect
  • cognitive functioning
  • financial
  • friendship
  • older adults
  • social network
  • social support


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