Self-report measure of financial exploitation of older adults

Conrad, K. J., Iris, M., Ridings, J. W., Langley, K., & Wilber, K. H. (2010). Self-report measure of financial exploitation of older adults. The Gerontologist50(6), 758-773.

Abstract:

PURPOSE:

this study was designed to improve the measurement of financial exploitation (FE) by testing psychometric properties of the older adult financial exploitation measure (OAFEM), a client self-report instrument.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

rasch item response theory and traditional validation approaches were used. Questionnaires were administered by 22 adult protective services investigators from 7 agencies in Illinois to 227 substantiated abuse clients. Analyses included tests for dimensionality, model fit, and additional construct validation. Results from the OAFEM were also compared with the substantiation decision of abuse and with investigators’ assessments of FE using a staff report version. Hypotheses were generated to test hypothesized relationships.

RESULTS:

the OAFEM, including the original 79-, 54-, and 30-item measures, met stringent Rasch analysis fit and unidimensionality criteria and hadhigh internal consistency and item reliability. The validation results were supportive, while leading to reconsideration of aspects of the hypothesized theoretical hierarchy. Thresholds were suggested to demonstrate levels of severity.

IMPLICATIONS:

the measure is now available to aid in the assessment of FE of older adults by both clinicians and researchers. Theoretical refinements developed using the empirically generated item hierarchy may help to improve assessment and intervention.

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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.