Social networks: A profile of the elderly who self-neglect

Jason Burnett, Tziona Regev, Sabrina Pickens, Laura Lane Prati, Koko Aung, Jenny Moore, Carmel Bitondo Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background. Self-neglect is an independent risk factor for early mortality in older people and has been linked to depression and the occurrence of mental and physical decline. Sound social networks have been shown to slow the process of decline in the elderly, and currently little is known about the social networks associated with elder self-neglect. The aim of this study was to explore the social networks associated with elder self-neglect compared with a matched-control group. Methods. Ninety-one Adult Protective Services-validated cases of elder self- neglect were compared on formal and informal social network factors with 91controls matched for age, race, gender, and socio-economic status. Results. Elders in the self-neglect group were significantly less likely to (1) Live with a spouse, (2) Live with others, (3) Have weekly contact with children or siblings, (4) Visit with neighbors and friends and (5) Participate in religious activities. Conclusions. Less adequate social resources related to family, friends, and religious affiliations are significantly associated with elder self-neglect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2007


  • Adult protective services
  • Elder self-neglect
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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