Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Gregory Campbell


Lack of elder abuse awareness and underreporting is an increasing problem in the United States in that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported. The failure to report incidents of elder abuse and suspected elder abuse allows further abuse of elders and for elder abusers to go unpunished. The purpose of this quantitative nonexperimental study was to understand the relationship between race, gender, and elder abuse awareness and fill the gap in elder abuse literature. Research questions tested mean differences between race and gender, respectively, and elder abuse awareness. The theoretical frameworks for this study were the social cognitive theory, self-perception theory, and Dunning Kruger Effect. The study included a convenience sample of 75 federal corrections retirees with diverse educational and professional backgrounds living in the United States. Data were collected using an online survey that ascertained the respondents' attitudes toward elder abuse and knowledge of elder abuse laws. Independent samples t tests were performed to test the mean differences of elder abuse awareness between different races and genders. Results of the study revealed African Americans have a statistically significant higher mean than Caucasians. However, there was not a statistically significant mean difference between males and females, respectively, and elder abuse awareness. The implications for social change include aiding public and private sector elder abuse prevention advocates adopt programs and policies that will increase elder abuse awareness campaigns, increase elder abuse reporting behavior of different races and genders, and prevent deaths resulting from a lack of elder abuse awareness.