Effects of age and gender on perceptions on victims of financial exploitation


A report by the Center for Victim Research shows that younger adults are more often victims of general and identity fraud (Irvin-Erickson & Ricks, 2019, p. 9); however, research conducted on financial exploitation focuses heavily on older adults. However, a recent study by Gunderson and colleagues (2021) found that older and younger adults are highly susceptible to financial exploitation. The purpose of the current study is to determine if perceptions of vulnerability to financial exploitation vary by the age of the victim. A sample of undergraduate participants will be recruited from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga through an online recruitment system called SONA. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of four vignettes where gender and age have been manipulated and dichotomized: (1) 67-year-old older man victim, (2) 67-year-old older woman victim, (3) 20-year-old young man victim, and (4) 20-year-old young woman victim. Participants will be asked to respond to questions regarding the following: (1) perceptions of vulnerability and susceptibility, (2) perceptions of blame and accountability, and (3) perceptions of empathy and support. The hypothesis is that age and gender will interact such that older women will be perceived as more vulnerable and deserving of empathy and support. The results of this study will begin to lay the groundwork needed to understand how to decrease stigma to increase reporting, develop and market educational training to reduce financial exploitation that is targeted to adults across the lifespan, and improve training for legal and social service professionals

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Last time updated on 21/01/2024

This paper was published in UTC Scholar.

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