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NCJ Number: 74052 Find in a Library
Title: Victim Characteristics, Crime Type, and the Immediate Impact of Crime on Elderly Victims
Author(s): K McClelland; M V Faletti; H C Quay; V S Johnson
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Aging
Bethesda, MD 20892
Grant Number: 90-A-1314
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on interviews with 160 elderly crime victims in Dade County, Fla., this study examined relationships among the impacts of the crime on the victim, the types of crime involved, and the victim's social and economic characteristics.
Abstract: Victims were identified and contacted for an initial interview by trained police officers 48 to 72 hours following the report of the crime. A total of 160 out of the 259 victims contacted agreed to be interviewed, and 95 gave followup interviews 4 to 6 months later. Impact of criminal victimization was measured by several variables which were condensed into two scales: the debility scale based on effects on health, increased fearfulness, and suspicion and the isolation scale which involved increased self-protective behaviors, purchase of equipment to improve physical security, reduced mobility and independence in daily living activities, and social withdrawal. Financial losses from the crime were considered a separate area of impact. Measured social and demographic characteristics of the victims included age, sex, occupation, income, ethnicity, marital status, work status, and home ownership. The sample was further divided into 68 victims of personal contact crimes and 98 victims of property crimes. Analysis using the debility scale showed that higher socioeconomic status insulated victims from fearfulness and health problems, but that the isolation index was unrelated to victim and situational factors. Differences between moderate and high impact groups in the debility scale depended on the type of crime and the amount of loss rather than socioeconomic characteristics. Personal crimes and a stronger debilitating impact on middle class victims than property crimes. Lower class victims, however, were disturbed by both personal and property crimes. Because of the wide variance in impacts reported by victims, the study cautioned future researchers about the complexities involved in victimization surveys of the elderly. Four references and eight statistical tables are appended.
Index Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Economic influences; Fear of crime; Social classes; Victimization surveys
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society, San Diego, California, November, 1980.
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