ERIC Number: ED244196
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-22
Reference Count: 0
Fear of Crime in the Elderly: Its Relation to Leaving One's Abode, Self Reported Health and Sense of Personal Control.
Fuentes, Max E.; Gatz, Margaret
Previous research has shown that heightened fear of crime in the elderly does not reflect actual crime rates as much as a perceived vulnerability due to diminished physical and economic resources. As part of a larger Los Angeles study on personal emergency response systems, this study examined the relationships among fear of crime, crime rates, leaving one's residence, self-reported health, income, and sense of personal mastery in the elderly. Sixty older adults (11 males, 49 females; mean age, 77.5 years), who were medically vulnerable and living alone, were interviewed and completed numerous paper measures of health, personal mastery, and fear of crime. A supplemental index of actual crime was established through police statistics. An analysis of the results showed that men tended to report leaving their residences slightly more often than women and endorsed higher levels of functional health, health status, mastery, and income. Women expressed significantly more fear than did men, but residential patterns or crime rates did not differ significantly by sex. Physical inabilities rather than fear of crime affected the frequency with which a frail older adult left his residence. The findings suggest that effective intervention with elderly individuals should focus on physical and mental health services that increase mobility through personal mastery of the environment. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Administration on Aging (DHHS), Washington, DC.; California Univ., Los Angeles/Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles. Long Term Care Gerontology Center
Authoring Institution: University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (36th, San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983).