ABSTRACT

This study investigated the association between elderly abuse and depressive symptoms in South Korea. For our analysis, we used the 2014 Survey of the Living Conditions of the Elderly, which was conducted of 10,267 older Koreans. Elderly abuse was measured by asking the respondents, “Have you ever experienced neglect of physical, emotional, or financial care, or neglect of financial support over the past 12 months?” Depressive symptoms as a dichotomous variable was measured using the Geriatric Depression Scale. For statistical analysis, logistic regression was applied. Our findings include the following. First, approximately 9% of the elderly experienced abuse, and elderly abuse was significantly associated with depressive symptoms among older Koreans after adjusting for covariates. Second, emotional abuse, neglect of care, and neglect of financial care were associated with depressive symptoms. The odds ratio of having depressive symptoms was the highest among women with the experience of having been neglected of care (OR: 5.72, 95% CI: 1.19, 27.41) and among men with experience of having been financially abused (OR: 5.11, 95% CI: 1.10, 23.93). Third, the odds ratio for depressive symptoms in both men and women increased with the increasing number of types of abuse experienced. The incremental effect of having been abused on the prevalence of depressive symptoms was much stronger in women than men. In conclusion, the association between elderly abuse and depressive symptoms was different between in men and in women. Active policy intervention to prevent elderly abuse is needed focusing the gender difference.

KEYWORD

Elder Abuse, Depression, Health, Sex

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