Elderly Korean immigrants' socially and culturally constructed definitions of elder neglect

Hee Yun Lee, Priscilla Gibson, Rebecca Chaisson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Little research has been conducted among the elderly on the topic of neglect. Not only is there a paucity of research, but also there is the problem of widely varying definitions of neglect. These two challenges led to a study of how neglect is understood by elderly Korean immigrants as it pertains to behaviors of adult children and family members. Interviews with 124 elderly Korean immigrants were conducted to assess conceptualizations of elder neglect. Data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results revealed five interrelated themes with strong connections to dimensions of health and mental health: (a) culture-specific definitions of elder neglect, (b) contexts in which elder neglect occurs, (c) impact of neglect on elders, (d) expectations from adult children, and (e) strategies for dealing with elder neglect. Implications for culturally competent, family-centered service delivery to elderly Korean immigrants are discussed, specifically focusing on service provision of health and mental health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article draws upon material from the first author's doctoral dissertation. The dissertation research was funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the authors acknowledge the generosity of the foundation and its staff.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acculturation
  • Culturally competent health services
  • Culture
  • Elder mistreatment
  • Elder neglect
  • Elderly Korean immigrants


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