Development and validation of a questionnaire about the attitude and exposure of aged-Puerto Ricans to abuse and neglect

Anabelle Irizarry-Irizarry


Background: Most studies about abuse, mistreatment and neglect of the aged have relied upon definitions provided by professionals and not the aged themselves whereas studies point out that definitions given by the aged do not correspond with those of professionals. Limited attention has been given to this topic in Puerto Rico and no studies to date have relied upon a validated and reliable questionnaire in Spanish for the Puerto Rican aged. Objectives: To develop and validate an instrument in Spanish in order to measure the opinion, attitude and exposure of aged Puerto Ricans to abuse, mistreatment and neglect. Methods: A 107 item questionnaire was developed using as a guide definitions and examples of abuse, mistreatment and neglect provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse of the United States. The sample was made up of 430 aged residing in community who were willing to participate. Interviews were carried out from August to December 2004. The questionnaire scale of response was “yes” “no” and “neutral”. Item analysis, internal consistency reliability using Cronbach’s alfa index and factor analysis using maximum likelihood estimation technique were performed. Results: Results showed adequate estimations of validity and reliability. The final form of the questionnaire was made up of 57 items of these 34 are related to attitude and 23 to exposure of the aged to abuse, mistreatment and neglect. Conclusions: The validity of the constructed instrument has been documented as least preliminarily. Thus this pilot study makes a contribution to the field of psychometric evaluation, social gerontology and related disciplines.


Gerontology; Psychometric evaluation; Puerto Ricans; Abuse; Mistreatment; Neglect

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