Association between Caregiver Neurotic Personality Trait and Elder Abuse: Investigating the Moderating Role of Change in the Level of Caregiver Perceived Burden

Boye Fang, Elsie Yan, Xiaozhao Yang, Yaolin Pei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate whether caregiver neuroticism affects the level of elder abuse and whether changes of caregiver perceived burden alter this relationship. Methods: Using 2-year longitudinal data, a consecutive sample of 800 Chinese family caregivers and their care recipients with dementia were recruited from the geriatric and neurological departments of 3 grade-A hospitals in the People's Republic of China. All the participatory dyads were assessed between September 2015 and February 2016 and followed up for 2 years. Results: Significant increase in the prevalence was found for physical abuse, psychological abuse, and caregiver neglect. Caregiver neuroticism was associated with an increased level of physical and psychological abuse over the 2-year observation period; however, change in the level of caregiver perceived burden altered this association. Specifically, the absence and decrease of perceived care burden prevented an increase in the level of physical and psychological abuse among caregivers high in neuroticism. Although caregiver neuroticism was also associated with an increased level of caregiver neglect, caregiver perceived burden did not appear to have an impact on this relationship. Discussion: This study provided evidence that caregiver neuroticism was associated with an increased level of physical and psychological abuse, while changes in the level of caregiver perceived burden may alter this trajectory. These findings suggest the importance of implementing caregiver-centered intervention and prevention programs for elder abuse by specifically targeting caregivers' behaviors related to their neurotic personality trait and cognitive appraisal of caregiving stressors associated with such personality traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
JournalGerontology
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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