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Exploring the boundaries between interpersonal and financial institution mistreatment of older people through a social ecology framework

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Corina Naughton, Jonathan Drennan

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalAgeing and Society
E-pub ahead of print2015

King's Authors


Interpersonal financial abuse of older people is well documented but the potential role of financial institutions is rarely examined. Financial institution mistreatment describes direct and indirect practices by financial institutions that threaten the financial wellbeing of older people. This analysis was based on a survey of community-dwelling older people (N = 2,021) aged 65 years and older, and examined self-reports of interpersonal and financial institution mistreatment. The prevalence of interpersonal financial abuse was reported by nearly 2 per cent of respondents compared to 1 per cent for financial institution mistreatment. The socio-demographic and health characteristics of the group who experienced interpersonal financial mistreatment were different from those who reported financial institution mistreatment. The boundaries between the two phenomena were explored using a social ecology framework that reflects the influences of ageism and normative practices on elder abuse. The study confirms previous international evidence on interpersonal financial abuse and provides preliminary data on financial mistreatment by financial institutions. The evidence has implications for policy and current preventative strategies that tend to ignore the influence of macro-contextual factors such as legislative and institutional normative practices, government policies and societal attitudes that can act as permissors of some types of financial mistreatment.

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