Common Crime and Domestic Violence Victimization of Older Chinese in Urban China: The Prevalence and Its Impact on Mental Health and Constrained Behavior

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This article examines the prevalence of victimization among older Chinese living in urban China and its psychological and behavioral impacts. A representative sample of 453 older adults aged 60 or above was recruited from Kunming, the People’s Republic of China, using multistage sampling method. Participants were individually interviewed on their demographic characteristics, experience of common crime and domestic violence victimization, fear of common crime and domestic violence, mental health, and constrained behavior. Results showed that 254 participants (56.1%) reported one or more types of common crime and 21 (4.6%) reported experiencing domestic violence in the past. Seventeen participants (3.8%) reportedly experienced both common crime and domestic violence victimization. There was no gender difference in the overall incidence of victimization but in some subtypes. Regression analyses indicated that past experience of common crime victimization was significantly associated with greater fear of common crime (β =.136, p =.004), poorer mental health (β =.136, p =.003), and more constrained behavior (β =.108, p =.025). Fear of common crime predicted increased constrained behavior (β =.240, p <.001) independent of gender, age, education, household finances, living arrangement, and physical health. Domestic violence victimization was not significant in predicting poor mental health and constrained behavior but was significant in predicting fear of domestic violence (β =.266, p <.001), which was related to poorer mental health (β =.102, p =.039). The study suggests the importance of taking older people’s risk and experience of victimization into consideration in gerontological research, practice, and policymaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-914
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • cultural contexts
  • elder abuse
  • mental health and violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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