No Safe Haven: A Review on Elder Abuse in Chinese Families

Chau Wai Elsie Yan, Catherine So-Kum Tang, Tang Dannii Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This review summarizes the literature on aging and elder abuse in contemporary Chinese societies. There is evidence that the younger generation of Chinese is less adherent to traditional Confucian principles of filial piety, and elderly Chinese are no longer guaranteed prestige, power, and care in the family. Carers of elderly Chinese also experience caregiver burden and are frequently caught in a caring dilemma. Furthermore, elderly Chinese often report distressful adjustment in their older age. Available studies indicate that elder abuse in the family does exist in Chinese societies, and various forms of elder abuse as identified by Western countries are also present. Risk factors and negative impacts of Chinese elder abuse resonate with those found in Western countries. In particular, elderly people's increasing dependence on their adult offspring may make them more vulnerable to the latter's abusive behaviors. Research, practical, and policy implications of this review are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalTrauma, Violence, & Abuse
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese aging
  • Chinese elder abuse
  • Chinese family violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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