Elder Abuse pp 461-475 | Cite as

Elder Abuse and Culture: Africans and African Americans

  • Charles P. MoutonEmail author
  • Janet H. Southerland


Abuse of older adults across the Africa Diaspora is a growing problem, despite traditional values of filial piety. More concerning is the impact that modernization and urbanization is having on populations of African descent in the developing world through its erosion of traditional values of respect for older adults as well as informal caregiving and familial relationships. As these changes occur throughout the African diaspora, older adults find themselves more vulnerable, living in environments with limited social and economic resources, and having no support—a recipe for elder abuse and neglect. In particular, African American elders have a shared history of chattel slavery, forced segregation, poverty, and a distrust of authority. This legacy increases their vulnerability and susceptibility to abuse; but also represents an opportunity for prevention. Community-based programs using the unique social networks across the African diaspora can provide a venue to improve caregiver training and support, reinforce filial and informal caregiving practices, increase the utilization of available governmental and institutional resources, and provider guardianship and money management services for the African American and those of African descent across the diaspora.


Elder abuse African Americans 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Family and Community Medicine, School of MedicineMeharry Medical CollegeNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of DentistryMeharry Medical CollegeNashvilleUSA

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