Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Domestic Violence in Older Adults

  • Jooyoung KongEmail author
  • Eunji Lee
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_898-1



Domestic violence in older adults is considered a subset of the larger elder abuse problem (National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) 2013). Elder abuse “is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult” (defined as someone aged 60 or older), which takes the forms of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect (Hall et al. 2016, p. 28). The present entry focuses on the cases of domestic violence in older adults where abuse is perpetrated by a current or former spouse or intimate partner.


The boundary between domestic violence in older adults and elder abuse has not been clearly defined (Knight and Hester 2016; Penhale 2003). Elder abuse, by definition, occurs in the context of receiving long-term care...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christine A. Mair
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)BaltimoreUSA