A descriptive study of sex differences in psychosocial factors and elder mistreatment in a Chinese community population

Xin Qi Dong*, Melissa A. Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Elder mistreatment (EM) is a global health issue, and prior studies have indicated that EM is common in urban Chinese populations. The objective of this study was to examine sex differences in sociodemographic and psychosocial factors associated with EM in a community-dwelling population. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of 141 women and 270 men aged ≥60 years was performed in a community-dwelling Chinese population. The variables collected included EM, sociodemographic characteristics, and psychosocial measures of depression, loneliness and social support. Results: Overall, 59 (41.8%) women and 86 (31.9%) men had experienced EM. For women, there were no major differences in the sociodemographic characteristics between those with and without EM. For men, those with EM were more likely to be younger, have a lower education level and income, and have more children. Comparisons of women and men with and without EM indicated that both women and men with EM had higher levels of depression and loneliness and lower levels of social support. Among women and men with EM, women had lower levels of education, and were less likely to be married, less likely to live in the city, more likely to stay at home, more likely to feel helpless, and more likely to need companionship and someone to listen to. Conclusion: The sociodemographic characteristics associated with EM differed between men and women. Lower levels of psychosocial measures were associated with EM in both men and women. Among those with EM, there are significant sex differences across these sociodemographic and psychosocial factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • China
  • Elder abuse
  • Population
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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