A Family Systems Perspective of Elder Family Financial Exploitation: Examining Family Context Profiles

Athena C.Y. Chan, Marlene S. Stum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Informed by Family Systems Theory, this study examines the interwoven nature of intergenerational family structures and roles in which elder family financial exploitation (EFFE) takes place. Method: Data from a mixed-methods study were utilized to examine patterns of family structures and roles within and across 23 family systems. Participants were non-perpetrator/non-victim concerned family members (CFMs) who had experienced EFFE. Results: Four family context profiles were identified, organized by the number and roles of victim(s) and perpetrator(s) in each family system, including: Single victim, Single perpetrator; Single victim, Multiple perpetrators; Two victims, Single perpetrator; and Two victims, Multiple perpetrators. It is possible for multiple perpetrators to be involved, with up to five perpetrators across three generations in our sample. Discussion: Findings offer insight into the range of intergenerational family structures and roles affected by EFFE. Practitioners are encouraged to understand and address family contexts to improve EFFE intervention outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-951
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA Experiment Station, Project 1013288.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • concerned family members (CFM)
  • elder abuse
  • elder family financial exploitation (EFFE)
  • family systems

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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