least well in nursing curricula. Currently, there are no curricular requirements for the topic. A total of 82 percent of responding schools reported having any elder abuse content, and 66 percent of responding schools spent only 1-2 classroom hours on the subject (Woodtli and Breslin, 1996). The AACN, in conjunction with the John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing Practice, has done much in recent years to address the paucity of geriatric curricula. The Geriatric Education Center Program, funded by the Bureau of Health Professions, is one vehicle for continuing education programs for nurses who need classes on elder abuse and neglect.
Almost all major textbooks in undergraduate baccalaureate nursing programs do have content on at least one form of family violence. However, family violence content is noticeably lacking in the physical assessment textbooks commonly used at both baccalaureate and advanced-practice levels, except for child abuse and neglect. Nursing texts at both the associate degree and advanced-practice levels also have less content on family violence, except again for child abuse and neglect in pediatric nursing. The other advanced-practice exception is nurse midwifery, which has systematically addressed the issue of violence against women through programs and texts (Paluzzi and Quimby, 1998).
Although the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996) recommended that training occur on issues of family violence, implementation of such recommendations is not a simple matter. For example, a review of 24 recently published introductory psychology textbooks, used primarily in undergraduate education, revealed great disparities in covering child sexual abuse (Letourneau et al., 1999). Furthermore, unlike many health professionals-to-be, doctoral students in psychology do not participate in a standard curriculum (for the relevant accreditation guidelines, see www.apa.org/ed/gp2000.html). There are also no standard texts (even as a matter of conventional practice) for most graduate psychology courses and no standards for addressing family violence. Although licensing boards often require that candidates have completed course work in broad areas of psychology (e.g., biological bases of behavior), they do not prescribe the content of the courses (e.g., the biological bases requirement could be met through a survey course or a seminar on basic neuropsychology, physiological psychology, behavior genetics, or neuropsychological assessment). Indeed, the initial survey course in statistics is the only commonality that can be expected in the curricula experienced by doctoral students in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. Moreover, it is often possible to obtain a PhD in psychology without meeting the requirements (which vary substantially across states in any event) for admission to licensing exams for psychologists wishing to engage in clinical or counseling practice.
Most training about child maltreatment takes place in workshops and con-