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Prevalence and Factors Associated With Elder Abuse in Community-Dwelling Elderly in Korea: Mediation Effects of Social Support

Yu Jeong Lee, Yong Kim, Jong-Il Park

Abstract: Objective The objectives of this study were to investigate the factors associated with elder abuse and the mediation effects of social support in a community-dwelling elderly population in Korea.Methods This study analyzed a dataset of 10,674 individuals aged 65 years and older in Korea. Data were reviewed from a study conducted by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs in 2011.Results In our study, 12.6% of the elderly reported elder abuse, and 29.2% reported having depression (a score ≥8 on the short version geriatric depression scale). Our results revealed that younger age, low economic status, poor social support (odds ratio [OR]=1.448) and depression (OR=2.039) were significantly associated with elder abuse after controlling for all confounding factors. In addition, mediation analysis showed that the OR for depression was reduced from 2.124 to 2.039 after social support was controlled, which indicates that the association between depression and elder abuse is partially mediated by social support.Conclusion Depression and lack of social support were associated with abuse in community-dwelling Korean elderly. In particular, social support was revealed to buffer the association between depression and elder abuse.
Keywords: elder abuse / elderly / social support / mediation / Korea / abuse in community dwelling

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