Mediation and empowering older people to resolve interpersonal conflicts leading to elder abuse and contribute to its prevention: an exploratory study

Craig, Yvonne Joan (2000) Mediation and empowering older people to resolve interpersonal conflicts leading to elder abuse and contribute to its prevention: an exploratory study. Doctoral thesis, London Guildhall University.

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Abstract / Description

Can mediation empower older people to resolve interpersonal conflicts which may lead to elder abuse, and thereby contribute to preventing it? This thesis is introduced by pointing to the social convergence of concern about the demographic rise of elder abuse, and interest in the increasing use of the progressive process of mediation for resolving social problems, which has led to support for this present study, the first in its field. Social benefits of the research to older people are noted, and include the importance of adding to knowledge, the value of providing a practical pilot demonstration project, and contributing to building social capital.

The social confluence of theoretical perspectives in both areas is considered, showing that elder abuse has complex causes featuring conflicts, which mediation can contribute to resolving as a sensitive, voluntary process of self-determined informal justice. The social construction of empirical work as action research is discussed, as are its limitations. The triangulated methodology includes participant observation of mediation with older people in Atlanta, Kansas and San Francisco in America, where it was first established, ethnographic studies of the work of the British Elder Mediation Project (EMP for Empowerment), and a video survey researching relevant British social attitudes to mediation. The study is illustrated by individual case references and verbatim extracts from the mediations studied.

Research findings are then evaluated in relation to the study, its themes, theories and social benefits. These show that, in general, mediation empowered the older participants in the study to resolve interpersonal conflicts and stop abuse, although prediction about it preventing future abuse is less strong, and its potential for challenging structural abuse is shown to be weak. The thesis concludes with discussing the present status and social value of mediation, the implications of the thesis for social policy, and raises questions for further research to offset limitations of this present study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: elder abuse; older persons abuse; older people; interpersonal conflicts
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Professions (to June 2021)
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 13:57
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 13:57


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