Perceptions of plea bargaining in cases of elder financial abuse

Andrea M. Riederer, Jonathan M. Golding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The present study investigated perceptions of plea bargains in elder financial abuse. Approximately 78-90% of felony convictions are the result of plea bargains, yet very little work examines the public’s perceptions of it. Additionally, elders lose an estimated $2.6–36.5 billion dollars each year to financial abuse and exploitation. Participants were recruited from Mturk (N = 74) and completed a mixed-factors 2 (Amount of Money Stolen: $5,000 vs. $50,000) x 2 (Relationship of Victim and Perpetrator: son vs. caretaker) x 2 (Type of Sentence: reduced jail sentence vs. probation) x 2 (Participant Gender) design. Amount, relationship, and sentence were within-participant factors, while gender was between-participant. It was found that there were main effects of amount, sentence, and relationship between victim and defendant such that participants showed a preference for plea bargains when the amount in question was lower ($5,000 vs. $50,000), when the sentence given was harsher (a reduced jail sentence vs. probation), and when the defendant was the victim’s son (vs. a caretaker).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-234
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 26 2020


  • Elder abuse
  • decision making
  • financial abuse
  • plea bargaining
  • procedural justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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