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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66301 Find in a Library
Title: BATTERED PARENTS
Journal: DYNAMIC YEARS  Dated:(JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1979)  Pages:24-27
Author(s): M BRILEY
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE CALLS ATTENTION TO THE GROWING INCIDENCE OF PHYSICAL ABUSE OF THE ELDERLY BY THEIR MIDDLE-AGED CHILDREN.
Abstract: THE RANGE OF ABUSES IN THE CATEGORY OF BATTERING INCLUDE LIFE OR HEALTH-ENDANGERING NEGLECT, ABANDONMENT, FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OVERUSE OF PACIFYING DRUGS, PSYCHOLOGICAL OR EMOTIONAL ABUSE, AND ACTIVE PHYSICAL MISTREATMENT. THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM IS DIFFICULT TO ASSESS BECAUSE NO SYSTEMATIC STUDY HAS BEEN DONE AND THE BATTERED ELDERLY OFTEN REFUSE TO REPORT ABUSE FOR FEAR OF RETALIATION, LACK OF ALTERNATIVES, AND SHAME. THE PROBLEM IS NOT ONLY WIDESPREAD, IT IS BOUND TO INCREASE FURTHER BECAUSE OF THE GREATER LONGEVITY OF OUR POPULATION INTO ADVANCED OLD AGE WITH THE ACCOMPANYING PROBLEMS OF FRAILTY, DEPENDENCE, AND NEED OF CARE. MOREVOVER, SOCIAL AND GOVERNMENT PRESSURES ENCOURAGE SONS AND DAUGHTERS TO ASSUME CARE OF THEIR PARENTS WITHOUT PROVIDING ADEQUATE SUPPORT TO DO SO. COMPOUNDING THE PROBLEM ARE THE TRADITIONAL DISCORD BETWEEN GENERATIONS AND THE INABILITY OF SOME MIDDLE-AGED PEOPLE TO COPE WITH ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES. THOSE VICTIMIZED MOST FREQUENTLY ARE THE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY INCAPACITATED ELDERLY WHO ARE TRULY DEPENDENT AND CAN NOT FIGHT BACK. THE ABUSERS MAY BE FAMILY MEMBERS, GREED-MOTIVATED NEIGHBORS, HOUSEKEEPERS, NURSING HOME STAFF, OR EVEN THEIR OWN CONTEMPORARIES REDRESSING SOME FORMER INEQUITY. COMPLEX FAMILY PSYCHODYNAMICS CONTRIBUTE TO PARENT BATTERING, AND A SON'S OR DAUGHTER'S VIOLENCE MAY OFTEN BE DELIBERATELY PROVOKED. IN MANY FAMILY SITUATIONS, THE PRESENCE OF AN ELDERLY PARENT AFTER MANY DECADES OF SEPARATION IS FELT AS INTRUSION. SUCH PARENTS REPRESENT ANOTHER STRESS FACTOR IN LIVES ALREADY BURDENED WITH FINANCIAL AND SOCIAL ANXIETIES AND PERSONALITY DISCORD. PROGRESS AGAINST THE PROBLEM SHOULD BE ATTEMPTED THROUGH BROADENED PUBLIC AWARENESS, FAMILY COUNSELING PROGRAMS, DAY CARE FOR THE ELDERLY, AND OTHER COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES CARING FOR THEIR OWN ELDERLY. ILLUSTRATIONS ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Domestic relations; Family counseling; Home environment; Older Adults (65+); Violence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66301

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