***This page features links to past projects and labs to which I have been an active or primary contributor***
Stanford Center on Longevity: Projects and Links
Financial fraud is a crime that targets consumers of all ages, not just older adults. To protect retirement assets throughout the life course, I created these five briefs and a webinar featuring practical strategies to recognize and resist persuasion and avoid victimization attempts.
The Center’s LONGEVITY BRIEFS series is designed to empower individuals with research and knowledge to be able to truly make a difference to improve long lives.
The series consists of short briefs and webinars that explain important research findings and provide concrete action steps individuals can take to live long and live well. In addition to fraud, other topics written by my colleagues include Life Planning in the Age of Longevity, Innovating Longevity, Updates to Caregiving Research, Social Engagement, and other research on financial security, psychology, and healthy living.
Findings from a Pilot Study to Measure Financial Fraud in the United States
This survey was developed based on the seven major categories of fraud outlined in the taxonomy presented below. Using an online sample of 2,000 US adults, data was collected on the frequency and type of fraud victimization in the past year, the amount of the loss, fraud solicitation and transaction methods, perpetrator characteristics, reporting behaviors, and the emotional and financial impact of victimization. The financial fraud survey will be included as a module in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) managed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This module will be administered to over 70,000 US adults. Launching this survey with the NCVS will mark the first time that fraud will be measured with a sample size large enough to produce reliable estimates about the number of Americans affected by specific fraud types. It will demonstrate to consumers, policymakers, and the private sector the cost and impact of financial fraud in the United States and point to where resources are needed to safeguard consumers.
Published: February, 2017
Because no uniform classification system existed, researchers and practitioners relied on inconsistent definitions and categorizations of fraud. This affects fraud prevalence estimates as well as our understanding of the mechanisms and consequences of individual financial fraud. The Stanford Center on Longevity and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) collaborated with fraud experts to develop a standardized fraud classification scheme. The purpose was to group and organize fraud types (targeting consumers) meaningfully and systematically into a hierarchical framework that could be translated into survey questions . The survey will ultimately help determine the annual prevalence of specific types of financial fraud and how prevalence rates change over time.
Published: July, 2015
THE SIGHTLINES PROJECT is a benchmark analysis of an unfolding 21st century miracle – Americans living well, to the age of 100 and beyond. While we cannot control all the factors, there is much we can do as individuals and as a society to contribute to continued improvements in our well-being and length of life. The Stanford Center on Longevity, dedicated to redesigning long life, developed the SIGHTLINES PROJECT to track our trajectory and guide our efforts. The research report compares different generations over 10-15 years on important measures such as health and fitness, social connectedness, and financial security.
Published: February, 2016
Part of the mission of the fraud program at the Stanford Center on Longevity (formerly the Financial Fraud Research Center) is to provide a central repository of resource materials on fraud. The archive is a collection of summaries of interdisciplinary research exploring the many dimensions of fraud, including studies on financial decision-making, fraud risk factors, outcomes, and the scope of the problem. It is a one-stop shop to locate relevant information on the topic and to inform future research, policy, and practice.
The articles include selections from psychology, marketing, sociology and economics, and are drawn from academic, non-profit, and private sources. The list is extensive, but not exhaustive. In order to illustrate the contribution of each article to our knowledge of financial fraud, summaries are provided by staff at the Center, and abstracts are pulled directly from the original articles. Bibliographic information and links to original sources are listed for each article. The original full text sources may only be available by subscription.
Professor Laura Cartensen's lab at Stanford University focuses on the social, emotional, and cognitive processes that people use to adapt to changing circumstances as they age. Researchers study how motivation changes over the life course and how this relates to emotional processing and emotion regulation over time. Lab members use diverse methodologies ranging from laboratory experiments using manipulations and virtual reality, to field studies examining aspects of emotional functioning in day-to-day life.
USC Davis School of Gerontology: Former Projects and Links
One solution to enhance response to elder mistreatment is utilizing the technology we all keep in our pockets. With funding from USC Davis School of Gerontology, my colleague and I designed and launched a mobile app, the Guide for Elder Abuse Response (GEAR). It is designed to help caregivers, health care workers, law enforcement, and aging services professionals identify and respond to elder abuse in Los Angeles County. The app provides practical information on the signs and symptoms of abuse, tools to assist reporting to adult protective services, and a map to find nearby hospitals, police stations, and other resources. The app can be downloaded for free on Google Play.
The mission of my former research lab at USC, lead by Professor Kathleen Wilber, is to promote a secure old age for all individuals, especially older adults with heightened vulnerability due to their demographic status or health problems. The three primary research areas are: healthcare systems/services, elder abuse, and economic security.
Located within the Davis School of Gerontology, the lab considers a range of issues in a life-course context, for example -- how experiences as youth lead to elder abuse; how intimate partner violence in adulthood turns into elder abuse; how early-life circumstances lead to higher levels of work-life income; how minimizing earnings and savings disparities between working-age adults can enhance economic security in retirement; and how a lifetime’s accumulation of economic resources can be supplemented in old age to enable individuals to receive care in their preferred locations. Visit the website to learn more.
The Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center was founded in January 2006. It is a multidisciplinary team of professionals who meet every week to review cases of elder abuse and address problems in service coordination in LA County. The Forensic Center is one of the few evidence-based interventions that has been proven to effectively improve response to elder abuse and neglect. My former lab at USC conducted a series of studies funded by the National Institutes of Justices. We found that the Forensic Center intervention significantly increases prosecution of abusers, promotes safety through victim conservatorship (where appropriate), and reduces abuse recurrence after a case has been closed. The multidisciplinary team structure helps to bridge the gaps between stakeholders and facilitates their ability to work together. You can read the full research report here.
Final report published: April 3, 2014