Association between personality traits and elder abuse in a community-dwelling Chinese population: findings from the PINE study

Mengting Li, Dexia Kong, Ying Yu Chao, Xin Qi Dong

Publication Date: 06/24/2020

Elder abuse is a pervasive public health issue. The relationship between personality traits and elder abuse remains unclear. This study aims to examine the associations between neuroticism, conscientiousness, and elder abuse. Data were derived from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly (PINE), a community-engaged study of 3,157 US Chinese older adults in the greater Chicago area from 2011–2013. Elder abuse included psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and caregiver neglect. The assessments of neuroticism and conscientiousness were derived from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory. Logistic regression was used. Higher neuroticism (score range: 6–30, OR = 1.14, CI = 1.11–1.18) and lower conscientiousness (score range: 16–60, OR = 0.97, CI = 0.96–0.99) were associated with a higher risk of elder abuse. With respect to different forms of elder abuse, higher neuroticism was associated with an increased risk of psychological abuse (OR = 1.14, CI = 1.10–1.17), financial exploitation (OR = 1.03, CI = 1.00–1.07), and caregiver neglect (OR = 1.06, CI = 1.03–1.09). Higher conscientiousness was associated with a higher risk of financial exploitation (OR = 1.02, CI = 1.00–1.05). Intervention programs could reduce neuroticism and raise conscientiousness of elder abuse victims.