Social and familial context of prenatal genetic testing decisions: Are there racial/ethnic differences?

Lee A. Learman, Miriam Kuppermann, Elena Gates, Robert F. Nease, Virginia Gildengorin, A. Eugene Washington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


The purpose of this cross-sectional study of 999 socioeconomically and racially/ethnically diverse pregnant women was to explore prenatal genetic testing attitudes and beliefs and the role of external influences. Surveys in English, Spanish, and Chinese included questions regarding the value of testing, pregnancy, and motherhood; the acceptability of Down syndrome in the subject's community; and the role of social and cultural influences in prenatal testing decisions. We analyzed racial/ethnic differences in all attitudinal and external influence variables, controlling for age, relationship status, and socioeconomic status. We found statistically significant racial/ethnic group differences in familiarity with an individual with Down syndrome and in 10 of 12 attitude, belief, and external influence variables, even after controlling for other sociodemographic characteristics. We also observed substantial variation within racial/ethnic groups for each of these measures. Despite the statistically significant group differences observed, R2 values for all multivariate models were modest and response distributions overlapped substantially. Social and familial contexts for prenatal testing decisions differ among racial/ethnic groups even after accounting for age, marital status, and other socioeconomic factors. However, substantial variation within groups and overlap between groups suggest that racial/ethnic differences play a small role in the social and familial context of prenatal genetic testing decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Seminars in Medical Genetics
Volume119 C
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 15 2003


  • Attitudes
  • Down syndrome
  • Faith/religion
  • Family influence
  • Health beliefs
  • Individual differences
  • Interpersonal influence
  • Prenatal genetic testing
  • Racial/ethnic differences
  • Social influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social and familial context of prenatal genetic testing decisions: Are there racial/ethnic differences?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this