these relationships and their meaning to the people involved; the situational and motivational factors that tend to enhance or impair the cognitive performance of older people and their corollary capacity to protect their own interests; and the social factors driving—and potentially regulating—the settings in which older persons live, especially those who are cognitively impaired or financially dependent.

The theoretical sketch outlined in this chapter offers one approach for stimulating the thinking and research needed by the field at this stage in its development.

The panel recommends systematic, theory-driven longitudinal research, both qualitative and quantitative, exploring the changing dynamics of elder people’s relationships and the risk of mistreatment, as they are affected by changing health status, social embeddedness, and caregiving and living arrangements, in both domestic and institutional contexts.

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