The traditional values of Chinese culture promote care and respect toward older adults. While it appears to be ironic to discuss issues of abuse and neglect in the Chinese culture, research findings in Chinese societies do indicate the occurrences of such problems. However, little research on the abuse and neglect of older Chinese in Western societies has been available. This study aims to examine the incidence of abuse and neglect and the associated correlates based on data collected from a random sample of 2,272 aging Chinese 55 years and older in seven Canadian cities. The findings show that 4.5% of the participants reported experiencing at least one incident of maltreatment or neglect within the past year. The most common forms of neglect and abuse experienced by the aging Chinese include being scolded, yelled at, treated impolitely all the time, and ridiculed. Close family members such as spouses and sons are those that most commonly maltreat older Chinese. Those who were more likely to report at least one incident of maltreatment or neglect were older adults living with others; they tended to have no education, more access barriers, more chronic illnesses, less favorable mental health, and a higher level of identification with Chinese cultural values. The findings implied that the face value of respect and care received by older people in Chinese culture should not be taken for granted. Culturally appropriate precautionary steps are needed for prevention and early problem identification.
- elder maltreatment and neglect
- older Chinese people
- Canadian Chinese
- culture and values