An Investigation of the Longitudinal Effects of Criminal Victimisation on Quality of Life in Older Adults

Pearson, Joe and Warmelink, Lara and Crawford, Trevor and Doebler, Stefanie (2023) An Investigation of the Longitudinal Effects of Criminal Victimisation on Quality of Life in Older Adults. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Despite a wealth of evidence identifying criminal victimisation as a reliable predictor of detrimental outcomes across a range of domains of health and wellbeing, the exact mechanism by which these outcomes come about and are determined is not clearly understood. Across three studies, the current research project aims to remedy this gap in our understanding and clarify specifically the way in which criminal victimisation impacts the quality of life of older adults. Study one made use of data taken from wave 3 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA; Banks et al., 2019) to build a profile of sociodemographic characteristics most associated with having victimisation experience. It was found that amongst older adults, it is the not-so-old, the unmarried, and the more educated who are most likely to report having been victimised at some point in their lives. Study two applied structural equation modelling (SEM) to the same wave 3 ELSA data used in study one to construct and evaluate a theoretical framework of the relationship between victimisation experience, quality of life, and a group of possible mediating variables (social isolation, fear of crime, cognitive function, mental health, and physical health). Of these variables, mental health (specifically a person’s level of depression) was the only significant mediator such that victimisation increases depression which, in turn, reduces quality of life. Study three used SEM to extend the theoretical framework identified in study two longitudinally across multiple ELSA waves. The role of depression as a mediator of post victimisation quality of life outcomes was preserved over time. Additionally, victims were found to report increased depression and reduced quality of life almost a decade before nonvictims. The importance of these findings for tackling the negative long-term impacts of criminal victimisation, and the extent to which future research can build on this work, are discussed. Key words: Criminal victimisation, aging, quality of life, depression.

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Thesis (PhD)
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Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? criminal victimisationagingquality of lifedepressionyes - externally funded ??
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08 Aug 2023 12:40
Last Modified:
05 Dec 2023 01:02