Adult missing persons: a concept analysis

Claire Taylor, Penny Woolnough, Geoffrey L. Dickens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Missing persons incidents incur considerable societal costs but research has overwhelmingly concentrated on missing children. Understanding the phenomenon among adults is underdeveloped as a result. We conducted an evolutionary concept analysis of the ‘missing person’ in relation to adults. Evolutionary concept analysis provides a structured narrative review methodology which aims to clarify how poorly defined phenomena have been discussed in the professional/academic literature in order to promote conceptual clarity and provide building blocks for future theoretical development. A systematic literature search identified k = 73 relevant papers from which surrogate terms for, and antecedents, consequences, and attributes of the occurrence of adult missing persons were extracted and analysed. The core attributes of the adult missing person are (i) actual or perceived unexpected or unwanted absence accompanied by an absence of information and (ii) a potential adverse risk outcome as perceived by those left behind. The centrality of mental ill-health in actual adult missing persons cases is not reflected in theoretical development which largely comprises descriptive typologies of variable quality and questionable utility. There is a clear need to shift research emphasis towards clinical and psychological domains of inquiry in order to further advance the field of adult missing persons research.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Early online date5 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

human being
Research
typology
incident
Mental Health
Psychology
Costs and Cost Analysis
narrative
methodology
costs
health
literature

Cite this

@article{4a4316ff7c114d0aa15537f421b577df,
title = "Adult missing persons: a concept analysis",
abstract = "Missing persons incidents incur considerable societal costs but research has overwhelmingly concentrated on missing children. Understanding the phenomenon among adults is underdeveloped as a result. We conducted an evolutionary concept analysis of the ‘missing person’ in relation to adults. Evolutionary concept analysis provides a structured narrative review methodology which aims to clarify how poorly defined phenomena have been discussed in the professional/academic literature in order to promote conceptual clarity and provide building blocks for future theoretical development. A systematic literature search identified k = 73 relevant papers from which surrogate terms for, and antecedents, consequences, and attributes of the occurrence of adult missing persons were extracted and analysed. The core attributes of the adult missing person are (i) actual or perceived unexpected or unwanted absence accompanied by an absence of information and (ii) a potential adverse risk outcome as perceived by those left behind. The centrality of mental ill-health in actual adult missing persons cases is not reflected in theoretical development which largely comprises descriptive typologies of variable quality and questionable utility. There is a clear need to shift research emphasis towards clinical and psychological domains of inquiry in order to further advance the field of adult missing persons research.",
author = "Claire Taylor and Penny Woolnough and Dickens, {Geoffrey L.}",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1080/1068316X.2018.1529230",
language = "English",
journal = "Psychology, Crime and Law",
issn = "1068-316X",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

Adult missing persons : a concept analysis. / Taylor, Claire; Woolnough, Penny; Dickens, Geoffrey L.

In: Psychology, Crime and Law, 05.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adult missing persons

T2 - Psychology, Crime and Law

AU - Taylor, Claire

AU - Woolnough, Penny

AU - Dickens, Geoffrey L.

PY - 2018/10/5

Y1 - 2018/10/5

N2 - Missing persons incidents incur considerable societal costs but research has overwhelmingly concentrated on missing children. Understanding the phenomenon among adults is underdeveloped as a result. We conducted an evolutionary concept analysis of the ‘missing person’ in relation to adults. Evolutionary concept analysis provides a structured narrative review methodology which aims to clarify how poorly defined phenomena have been discussed in the professional/academic literature in order to promote conceptual clarity and provide building blocks for future theoretical development. A systematic literature search identified k = 73 relevant papers from which surrogate terms for, and antecedents, consequences, and attributes of the occurrence of adult missing persons were extracted and analysed. The core attributes of the adult missing person are (i) actual or perceived unexpected or unwanted absence accompanied by an absence of information and (ii) a potential adverse risk outcome as perceived by those left behind. The centrality of mental ill-health in actual adult missing persons cases is not reflected in theoretical development which largely comprises descriptive typologies of variable quality and questionable utility. There is a clear need to shift research emphasis towards clinical and psychological domains of inquiry in order to further advance the field of adult missing persons research.

AB - Missing persons incidents incur considerable societal costs but research has overwhelmingly concentrated on missing children. Understanding the phenomenon among adults is underdeveloped as a result. We conducted an evolutionary concept analysis of the ‘missing person’ in relation to adults. Evolutionary concept analysis provides a structured narrative review methodology which aims to clarify how poorly defined phenomena have been discussed in the professional/academic literature in order to promote conceptual clarity and provide building blocks for future theoretical development. A systematic literature search identified k = 73 relevant papers from which surrogate terms for, and antecedents, consequences, and attributes of the occurrence of adult missing persons were extracted and analysed. The core attributes of the adult missing person are (i) actual or perceived unexpected or unwanted absence accompanied by an absence of information and (ii) a potential adverse risk outcome as perceived by those left behind. The centrality of mental ill-health in actual adult missing persons cases is not reflected in theoretical development which largely comprises descriptive typologies of variable quality and questionable utility. There is a clear need to shift research emphasis towards clinical and psychological domains of inquiry in order to further advance the field of adult missing persons research.

U2 - 10.1080/1068316X.2018.1529230

DO - 10.1080/1068316X.2018.1529230

M3 - Article

JO - Psychology, Crime and Law

JF - Psychology, Crime and Law

SN - 1068-316X

ER -