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Short Title

Measuring and Addressing Elderly Bullying

Abstract

Elderly bullying lags far behind in research endeavors compared to related topics of youth bullying and elder abuse. This particular study is unique in its examination of bullying among elderly residents from independent and assisted living communities. This action-oriented study collected surveys from 98 residents of a Midwest senior residential community to determine levels, location, and responses to bullying by residents as well as to inform administration of appropriate responses. Results indicated that approximately one in four residents responded that they had seen or heard another resident being bullied at some point. Residents also reported their experiences with social, physical, verbal, and electronic bullying within the past six months. Social bullying was reported at the highest levels, both as a victim and witness, and analyses demonstrated that status of living facility (public or private) significantly impacted reports of social bullying. Results were utilized to develop and improve formal policies and procedures at these living facilities, which included training events and educational opportunities for staff and residents. Though the frequency of bullying incidents in this sample was low, elderly bullying warrants continued study among diverse populations and settings.

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