Author(s): Brossoie N, Roberto KA, Barrow KM
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Abstract PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to gain insight into public awareness of intimate partner violence (IPV) in late life by how individuals respond to incidents of IPV reported in the newspaper. DESIGN AND METHODS: Using grounded theory techniques, online news items covering 24 incidents of IPV in late life, and the reader comments posted to them were analyzed. The news items were examined for incident details, story framing, and reporting style. An open coding process (Charmaz, K. . Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.) was used to generate a comprehensive understanding of themes and patterns in the comments posted by readers. RESULTS: Few posters indicated that incidents were episodes of IPV. As many posters struggled to make sense of incidents, they attempted to remove guilt from the perpetrator by assigning blame elsewhere. Comments were influenced by personal assumptions and perspectives about IPV, relationships, and old age; reporting style of the news items; and comments posted by other posters. IMPLICATIONS: Altering public views of IPV in late life requires raising awareness through education, reframing the ways in which information is presented, and placing greater emphasis on the context of the violence. By engaging interactive news media, reporters, participatory journalists, and policymakers can enhance public recognition and understanding of IPV in late life.
This article was published in Gerontologist
and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism