Elder Mistreatment among Chinese American Families: Do Acculturation and Traditionalism Matter?

Xiang Gao, Fei Sun, David Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives This study examined the effect of acculturation and Chinese traditionalism on elder mistreatment (EM) among Chinese American older adults. Method We used a mixed method design in this 2-phase cross-sectional exploratory study conducted in the Phoenix metropolitan area. In Phase I, we conducted four focus groups to develop a culturally relevant EM assessment tool. In Phase II, we administered a survey incorporating this tool to 266 community-dwelling Chinese American older adults aged 60 and older. Acculturation was measured using the Marin acculturation scale. Traditionalism was measured with questions drawn from the Traditionality-Modernity subscale of the Chinese Personality Assessment Inventory (CPAI-2). Results The prevalence rates of elder abuse and elder neglect are 8.3% and 5.3%, respectively. Higher levels of acculturation and depression are positively associated with the occurrence of elder abuse (odds ratio [OR] = 1.06). Traditionalism is not significantly related to elder abuse or elder neglect. Discussion The results suggest that promoting traditional Chinese beliefs may not necessarily prevent EM among members of this population. Rather, EM prevention efforts might focus on building "bi-cultural" identities among both older adults and their adult children. Future research could explore the effect of intergenerational acculturation discrepancies on EM among members of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Acculturation
  • Elder abuse
  • Elder neglect
  • Traditionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Elder Mistreatment among Chinese American Families: Do Acculturation and Traditionalism Matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this