Lifetime Abuse and Mental Health Among Older Persons: A European Study

Bahareh Eslami, Gloria Macassa, Maria Gabriella Melchiorre, Henrique Barros, Eija Viitasara, Jutta Lindert, Mindaugas Stankunas, Francisco Torres-Gonzalez, Elisabeth Ioannidi-Kapolou, Joaquim J.F. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate the association of lifetime abuse and mental health among older persons, considering associated factors (e.g., demographics) through a cross-sectional design. We recruited 4,467 women and men ages 60–84 years from 7 European cities. Mental health was measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and physical injuries) based on the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale and the UK survey of abuse/neglect of older people. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that country of residence, low educational level, and experienced financial strain increased the odds of probable cases of anxiety and depression. Female sex, white-collar profession, and financial support by social/other benefits/or partner income were associated with higher odds of anxiety, while older age and experience of lifetime injury were associated with increased odds of depressive symptoms. The findings of this study indicate that socioeconomic factors, as well as experienced lifetime severe physical abuse leading to injuries, are significant in perceived mental health of adults in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-607
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Anxiety
  • depression
  • injury
  • psychological
  • sexual
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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