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Gerontology ; : 1-11, 2021 Apr 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33882498


INTRODUCTION: Evidence suggests that older Black adults are frequent victims of financial fraud and exploitation. This study aims to identify the factors associated with scam susceptibility in older Black adults. METHODS: Participants were 383 older Black adults living in the Chicago metropolitan area (mean age = 78 years and 82% female). A scam susceptibility measure assessed perceptions and behaviors that predispose older adults to fraud and scams. Categories of age-associated factors, including cognition, physical health, psychosocial factors, personality, and behavioral economics, were measured using uniform systematic assessments. For each category separately, measures associated with scam susceptibility were identified via stepwise variable selection. RESULTS: Older age was associated with greater scam susceptibility. Further, the analysis revealed a robust association of cognitive health with scam susceptibility, particularly the domains of semantic and working memory. Psychological well-being was associated with susceptibility, as was neuroticism. Behavioral economic measures including financial and health literacy and financial and health decision-making ability were also implicated. In a final model that included all the measures initially retained by variable selection, semantic memory, psychological well-being, and financial and health literacy were independently associated with scam susceptibility. Moreover, the association of age was attenuated and no longer significant after adjusting for these correlates. DISCUSSION: Age-associated vulnerabilities, rather than age itself, predispose older Black adults to financial fraud and scams. The correlates of scam susceptibility in community-living older Black adults primarily involve cognitive health, psychological, and behavioral economic factors.

Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33676832


OBJECTIVES: Inadequate financial and health literacy presents a formidable public health and economic challenge in old age. This study investigated declining financial and health literacy in relation to decision making performance, scam susceptibility and psychological wellbeing. DESIGN: Longitudinal study. SETTING: A community-based cohort in Northeastern Illinois, USA. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand fourty-six older adults who were free of dementia at baseline and underwent annual clinical and literacy assessments. MEASUREMENTS: Financial and health literacy, decision making, scam susceptibility, and psychological wellbeing were assessed using validated instruments. Linear mixed effects models estimated person-specific rates of change in financial and health literacy, and multivariable regression analyses examined the associations of declining literacy with subsequent levels of decision making, scam susceptibility, and psychological wellbeing. RESULTS: The mean age was 81 years and 76% were female. Over up to 10 years of annual follow-ups, the average financial and health literacy score dropped 1 percentage point a year. Substantial variability in decline was observed between participants. Faster decline in financial and health literacy was associated with poorer decision making, higher scam susceptibility, and lower psychological wellbeing. Notably, these associations were above and beyond the baseline literacy level and persisted even after controlling for cognition. CONCLUSIONS: Most community-dwelling older adults experience decline in financial and health literacy over time, but decline is not inevitable. Declining literacy is related to poorer decision making, greater scam susceptibility and lower wellbeing. These findings suggest that efforts to mitigate declining financial and health literacy may promote independence and wellbeing in old age.

Gerontologist ; 60(8): 1476-1484, 2020 Nov 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32574350


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cognition is a known determinant of healthcare and financial decision making in old age. Social vulnerabilities also might play a role in such decisions; however, the evidence for this is less clear. Here, we examined the association of loneliness with decision making and tested the hypothesis that loneliness is associated with decision making via its interaction with global cognition. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants were 1,121 nondemented older adults from the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Healthcare and financial decision making was assessed via a performance-based measure; loneliness was assessed via the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale; and cognition was assessed via a 19-test neuropsychological battery. RESULTS: In a regression model adjusted for age, sex, and education, global cognition was associated with decision making (B = 2.43, SE = 0.14, p < .001) but loneliness was not (B = -0.04, SE = 0.11, p = .72). However, in a model including the interaction of loneliness with global cognition, the interaction was significant (B = 0.44, SE = 0.20, p = .03), such that the detrimental effect of loneliness on decision making was stronger when cognition was low. In secondary analyses examining the interaction of loneliness with 5 specific cognitive domains, the interaction between loneliness and working memory with decision making was significant (B = 0.35, SE = 0.15, p = .02). DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our results suggest that loneliness compromises healthcare and financial decision making among older adults with lower global cognition and, more specifically, lower working memory.

Psychol Aging ; 33(2): 325-337, 2018 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29658750


Financial fraud is a societal problem for adults of all ages, but financial losses are especially damaging to older adults who typically live on fixed incomes and have less time to recoup losses. Persuasion tactics used by fraud perpetrators often elicit high levels of emotional arousal; thus, studying emotional arousal may help to identify the conditions under which individuals are particularly susceptible to fraud. We examined whether inducing high-arousal positive (HAP) and high-arousal negative (HAN) emotions increased susceptibility to fraud. Older (ages 65 to 85) and younger (ages 30 to 40) adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 emotional arousal conditions in a laboratory task: HAP, HAN, or low arousal (LA). Fraud susceptibility was assessed through participants' responses to misleading advertisements. Both HAP and HAN emotions were successfully induced in older and younger participants. For participants who exhibited the intended induced emotional arousal, both the HAP and HAN conditions, relative to the LA condition, significantly increased participants' reported intention to purchase falsely advertised items. These effects did not differ significantly between older and younger adults and were mitigated in participants who did not exhibit the intended emotional arousal. However, irrespective of the emotional arousal condition to which older adults were assigned (HAP, HAN, or LA), they reported greater purchase intention than did younger adults. These results inform the literature on fraud susceptibility and aging. Educating consumers to postpone financial decisions until they are in calm emotional states may protect against this common persuasion tactic. (PsycINFO Database Record

Nível de Alerta/fisiologia , Tomada de Decisões/fisiologia , Emoções/fisiologia , Fraude/psicologia , Adulto , Idoso , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , Envelhecimento , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino
Gerontologist ; 57(2): 329-340, 2017 04 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26220416


Purpose of the Study: This study examines the effect of survey context on self-reported rates of personal fraud victimization, and explores if the effect is influenced by age and gender. Design and Methods: Participants (3,000U.S. adults) were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 versions of a fraud victimization questionnaire: questions about fraud were identical across conditions, however, the context varies. One questionnaire asked about crime, one about consumer buying experiences, and a third focused only on fraud. Results: Participants who were asked about fraud victimization in the context of crime reported significantly less victimization (p < .05) than those in the fraud-alone condition, yet the number of reports from those asked within the context of a consumer survey did not differ from the fraud-alone condition. The effect of the crime context interacted with age (p < .05), such that there was no effect of survey context for the middle age group (35-64), and a strong effect for younger (25-34) and older (65 plus) adults. The combined effect of being female and older was associated with the greatest effect of crime context on self-reported fraud victimization. Implications: These findings inform the production of new surveys and guide the development of effective social and health policies.

Vítimas de Crime , Fraude , Autorrelato , Adulto , Fatores Etários , Idoso , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , Crime , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Fatores Sexuais , Inquéritos e Questionários , Estados Unidos