Theoretical framework for elder abuse to guide social work practice

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor Jill Wilsonwilsonj@uq.edu.au

This project aims to  develop a theoretical framework to assist heath social workers to effectively assess and intervene in elder abuse. Elder abuse damages trust, increases health costs and hastens death. The proposed framework uses personal construct theory and builds on the perspectives of older people, social workers and a panel of key authors.

Research has focued on undertnding the broader social context, characteritics of alleged abusers, family relationhp and the isolation of older people.  Social work practice is drawn from generic models, with limited evalaution, and findings are not linked to older  people's experiences, or to the characteristics of the practice context. This rsearch will be done in four stages:

  1. developing standardised case scenarios from a  range of perspectives
  2. analysing ocialwork reponses to case scenarios
  3. developing a theoretical framework
  4. testing the framework with practitioners 

A HDR scholar would have some choice of topic. Suggestions are focusing on older people with impaired capacity, on older people in regional areas, or particular subgroups of older people.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of working with older people, particularly in health settings, would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of social work and theory development and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of elder abuse is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2022. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

Apply now