Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


David Weintraub

Committee Member

Kenneth Stothers

Committee Member

Lynne Schrum


Acculturation, Aging, Elder Abuse, Geriatric, Polynesian, Social Support


This applied dissertation was conducted to determine whether or not acculturation affects the process of help-seeking patterns and behaviors for Polynesian victims of elder abuse. The researcher utilized a quantitative correlation design to employ structured survey measures to collect statistical data to determine the impact of acculturation on perception of elder abuse and help-seeking behaviors among elderly Polynesians. Acculturation was measured using the Polynesian Self-Identify Acculturation Scale and the 13 case scenarios developed by Moon and Williams. The study looked at the extent to which elderly Polynesians perceived that the scenarios depicted abusive situations, and to what extent they indicated that they would seek help in the situations depicted in the scenarios. Two types of help were explored: help from formal sources (e.g., police, 911, health or social services provider) and help from informal sources (e.g., family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, or someone at church). This study addressed the research questions of how acculturation impacts the perceptions of what constitutes elder abuse among elderly Polynesians, how acculturation impacts one’s seeking help as a victim of elder abuse among elderly Polynesians, and how acculturation impacts the help-seeking behaviors (both formally and informally) of this population. The results of the multiple regression analysis used to address the research questions showed that extent of acculturation to the U.S. was not significantly related to the perceptions of what constitutes elder abuse among elderly Polynesians nor was it related to this group’s choice of help-seeking behaviors.