Research & Publications

The complete bibliography of Dr. Peter Lichtenberg’s published research on assessing financial decision-making and vulnerability in older adults.


Most Recent

  • The Success After Financial Exploitation (SAFE) program provides financial education and coaching to older urban adults, many African American. SAFE participants repaired their credit scores, reduced new financial burdens, and even recovered monies. Participants assessed prior to services performed worse on executive functioning than controls. Clinicians should attend to the financial health of older clients who may suffer from cognitive deficits and poor physical and mental health.

    Clinical Gerontologist, Jan 29, 2019, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07317115.2019.1569190
  • We examined the psychometric properties of a new informant-report scale (Family & Friends Interview or FFI) of financial decisional abilities in older adults. The full scale had adequate sensitivity and specificity to detect an informant’s current concerns regarding financial exploitation. The FFI is useful for collecting informant reports regarding an older adult’s ability to make financial transactions.

    Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, Dec 20, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1080/08946566.2018.1556762
  • Adult Protective Services (APS) professionals must often assess decision-making capacity when investigating financial exploitation. This study investigated the LFDSS’ ability to detect financial exploitation in 105 clients of APS workers across 5 counties. LFDSS demonstrated excellent internal consistency and clinical utility, supporting its use as a reliable and valid instrument. Includes instructions for its use plus online support tools.

    Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, Nov 2018, DOI:10.1080/08946566.2018.1531098
  • Peter A. Lichtenberg, Evan Gross & Rebecca Campbell
    The shortened version of the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale is confirmed as a valid and efficient tool to assess real-world financial decision-making abilities in older adults.
    Clinical Gerontologist, Oct. 15, 2018
  • Validating the utility of a scoring system for the Lichtenberg Financial Decision-making Rating Scale

    Clinical Gerontologist, June 25, 2018
  • Easy-to-administer, 10-item tool detects when persons may not be making informed financial decisions. The Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale (now called the Financial Decision Tracker) can be an important screening for financial professionals.

    Certified Senior Advisors Journal 71/Vol 2, 2018
  • This study: (1) empirically tested the conceptual model proposed by the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS); (2) examined the psychometric properties of LFDRS contextual factors in financial decision-making by investigating both the reliability and convergent validity of the subscales and total scale, and (3) extended previous work by collecting normative data on financial decision-making. Results confirmed the scale’s reliability and supported the conceptual model.

    Clinical Gerontologist, 41(1), Aug. 2017
  • These analyses examine the psychometric properties of the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale (LDFSS) to evaluate the decisional abilities and vulnerability to exploitation of older adults.The results supported the uni-dimensionality of the item set. The LDFSS performed well in terms of IRT reliability and information provided, and can be recommended as a short screen for financial decision-making capability and vulnerability to exploitation.

    Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, (June 2017) 29, 213-228
  • This article examines the conceptual model introduced in 2015 (Lichtenberg, Stoltman, Ficker, Iris, & Mast) and empirical evidence for the reliability and validity of the measure’s rating scale.

    Journal of Mental Health Care, (June 2017) 1, 1-3
  • We investigated the internal consistency of the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale and its criterion validity based on ratings by professionals using it. Results demonstrate that the LFDSS has excellent internal consistency and clinical utility properties. This paper supports use of the LFDSS as a reliable and valid instrument. Instructions for use are included plus information about online tools and support.

    Innovation in Aging, 2017, Vol. 00, No. 00, 1–9
  • We review research on financial exploitation and financial capacity pointing to the importance of numeracy in financial exploitation, and how decision-making abilities relate to financial exploitation. We discuss our new conceptual model.

    Clinical Gerontologist, 40(1), August 3, 2016
  • One challenge in preventing the financial exploitation of older adults is that neither criminal justice nor noncriminal justice professionals are equipped to detect capacity deficits. We introduce a new screening scale for older adults to assess financial decision-making. Details of our pilot study of 29 older adults seen by Adult Protective Services workers and 79 older adults seen by other professionals plus case studies are included.

    Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 2016, VOL. 28, NO. 3, 134–151
  • This article examines the intersection of financial exploitation and decision-making capacity and introduces a new conceptual model and new interview tools for both the investigation and prevention of financial exploitation.

    American Psychological Association, American Psychologist, 2016, Vol. 71, No. 4.312-320
  • Banks can reduce the financial exploitation of older adults by (1) proactive planning between financial service providers and customers, (2) continuous education of financial services providers about cognitive impairment and how to identify financial transactions that put the older adult at high risk for exploitation, and (3) adopting our new person-centered method to assess financial decision-making in high risk older adults.

    The Gerontological Society of America, Public Policies & Aging Report, 2016, Vol. 26, No. 1, 15–17
  • Using cross-sectional data, psychological vulnerability correlated with older adult’s being defrauded. Psychological vulnerability was a potent longitudinal predictor of fraud, with the most vulnerable individuals more than twice as likely to be defrauded. Results indicate that fraud victimization among older adults is rising, and that vulnerability variables, plus some demographic variables, predict new fraud cases.

    Clinical Gerontologist, October 2015
  • This study examines preliminary evidence for the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS), a new person-centered approach to assessing capacity to make financial decisions, and its relationship to self-reported cases of financial exploitation in 69 older African Americans. Study findings suggest that impaired decisional abilities may render older adults more vulnerable to financial exploitation, and that the LFDRS is a valid tool.

    Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, August 18, 2015
  • This study introduced the rating scale, its development and initial inter-rater reliability. Contextual factors such as financial awareness, psychological vulnerability and susceptibility to undue influence or exploitation can impact core decision-making abilities that affect legal standards for making a contract, will, gift, etc.. Inter-rater reliability was good across several raters.

    Clinical Gerontologist, 38:49–67, 2015
  • In this policy brief, Dr. Lichtenberg summarizes knowledge of cognitive impairment and dementia, particularly as it relates to financial capacity and financial exploitation. He then provides an overview of efforts to reduce financial exploitation and presents a new tools front-line providers can use to assess an older adult’s capacity to make specific financial decisions.

    Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute Policy Brief, Nov. 2014
  • For many financial planners, the 65-and-older population makes up a significant portion of their client base. making it increasingly important to prepare for issues involving financial capacity. Planners need to be aware of the potential financial vulnerability of older clients and know what action to take to protect and serve them. We provide planners with the most important issues and practice management tools to best serve these clients.

    MetLife Online Journal, April 2014
  • Financial exploitation, and particularly thefts and scams, are increasing at an alarming rate. We (a) determined the national prevalence of older adults who report having been a victim of fraud, (b) created a population-based model for the prediction of fraud, and (c) examined how fraud is experienced by the most psychologically vulnerable older adults.

    Clinical Gerontologist, 36:132–146, 2013.
  • The intense focus on Alzheimer’s disease has led even experienced practitioners to misdiagnose older adults’ cognitive impairment as Alzheimer’s. The impact of misdiagnosis may be greatest in cases of capacity, especially conservatorship and testamentary capacity. As the older adult population grows, clinical gerontologists will continue to assess capacity, and accurate diagnosis is essential for accurate assessment.

    Clinical Gerontologist, 35:42–56, 2012