Genetic testing: Psychological aspects and implications

Caryn Lerman, Robert T. Croyle, Kenneth P. Tercyak, Heidi Hamann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

232 Scopus citations


As the number of genes associated with inherited disease continues to grow, researchers and practitioners in behavioral medicine will encounter complex psychological issues faced by individuals at risk for these diseases. A review of the literature concerning prenatal, carrier, and predictive genetic testing suggests that the severity of psychological risks posed by research-based genetic testing is not great. However, subgroups of individuals with particular psychological traits may be more vulnerable to adverse effects. Available data do not provide evidence that genetic testing promotes changes in health-related behaviors. Thus, although there may be less of a role for mental health professionals in the psychological counseling of genetic testing participants, there is a need for research and practice to facilitate health protective behaviors in response to genetic risk information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-797
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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