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Understanding Elder Abuse

The Purpose and Role of Theory in Science

1. Elder abuse theories become more valuable if they account for not only the elderly victims but also the abusive individuals involved and the specific context within which the abuse takes place.

A. True

B. False


2. Elder abuse is generally committed by someone who is a virtual stranger to the elderly person.

A. True

B. False


Possible Explanations for Why the Field Has Been Largely Devoid of Guiding Theory

3. Which of the following is an explanation for why the field of elder abuse has been devoid of guiding theory?

A. Elder abuse has received little national attention and concern.

B. Limited recognition at the federal level and a lack of funding to support theory development.

C. The field has tended to rely heavily on a presumption that the caregiver stress model provides a full explanation of the occurrence of elder abuse.

D. All of the above.


Review of Existing Theories

4. Rather than developing theories unique to elder abuse, scholars have tended to adopt or adapt existing theories from other fields.

A. True

B. False


5. Which of the following theories was developed to explain violent behavior in children and has been used extensively to account for child maltreatment and intimate partner violence?

A. The Caregiver Stress Theory

B. The Social Learning Theory

C. The Social Exchange Theory

D. The Background-Situational Theory


6. When the sociodynamic balance in a relationship is upset or perceived to have been upset, the disadvantaged party will use violence to restore balance, describes which of the following?

A. The Caregiver Stress Theory

B. The Social Learning Theory

C. The Social Exchange Theory

D. The Background-Situational Theory


7. The Ecological Model originally sought to explain human development by including a range of potential influences on this process, including the impact of which of the following?

A. Individual influences

B. Relationship influences

C. Societal influences

D. All of the above


The Absence of a Critical Examination and Testing of Existing Theories

8. Which of the following existing models / theories has been adequately tested and critiqued with the five widely accepted criteria used for evaluating theories?

A. The Biopsychosocial Model

B. The Ecological Model

C. The Power and Control Theory

D. None of the above


9. Which of the following is often cited as the fastest-growing form of elder abuse?

A. Financial abuse

B. Emotional abuse

C. Physical abuse

D. Sexual abuse


Explanations for Why Existing Theories Have Tended to Be a Poor or Limited Fit

10. One criticism of the current approach to theory development in this field that seems warranted is a tendency toward overinclusion and lumping all forms of elder maltreatment together within a single theoretical model.

A. True

B. False


11. Not all elderly people are pure victims.

A. True

B. False


12. All abusive individuals are driven by evil intent and malicious motives.

A. True

B. False


Future Directions

13. Which of the following is an adjustment that should be made to address the shortcomings of current theories?

A. The practice of treating elder abuse as a monolithic phenomenon should be discarded and replaced with a recognition that elder maltreatment can take several different forms and that the nature of the abuse varies with the type of maltreatment involved.

B. Theories should include factors pertaining to both the victim and the abusive individual.

C. The nature of the relationship that brings the two parties together, and the context in which that relationship arises, should be taken into account.

D. All of the above.


14. The characteristics of the victim and the abusive individual, the nature of their relationship and occurring abuse, and the triggering factors and appropriate response stay consistent regardless of the type of maltreatment involved.

A. True

B. False


15. Many elderly victims of physical abuse are relatively high-functioning individuals who may be providing long-term support to adult offspring or other family members, who in turn may be dependent on and abusive toward the elderly person.

A. True

B. False


16. During early dementia, neglect may be a greater risk than physical violence or financial exploitation.

A. True

B. False


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