Proclivity to Elder Abuse A Community Study on Hong Kong Chinese

This study aimed to provide preliminary estimates on proclivity to elder abuse and to determine the efficacy of the intergenerational transmission of violence and ecological theories in predicting elder abuse in contemporary Chinese societies. A total of 464 (225 males and 239 females) Chinese residing in Hong Kong completed questionnaires on attitudes toward elderly people, modernity, and filial piety as well as childhood experiences of abuse and proclivity to elder abuse. Results indicated that proclivity to verbal elder abuse was the most common among the three depicted types of abuse, accounting for 20% of the sample, whereas proclivity to physical and social elder abuse was less common, each accounting for 2.4%. A high level of childhood experience of abuse consistently emerged as the single most salient predictor for participants’ endorsement of proclivity to elder abuse, while negative attitudes toward elderly people and modernity were the second and third most salient predictors.


Publication Date

September 2003

Publication Name

Journal of Interpersonal Violence


Elsie Yan, Catherine So-Kum Tang