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Influence of genetic risk information on parental role identity in adolescent girls and young women from families with fragile X syndrome.

Authors
  • McConkie-Rosell, Allyn
  • Heise, Elizabeth Melvin
  • Spiridigliozzi, Gail A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of genetic counseling
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2012
Volume
21
Issue
1
Pages
59–71
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-011-9391-8
PMID: 21826579
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Using a multi-group cross-sectional design, we explored self-concept related to parental role salience and enactment in 53 young women (14 to 24 years) with knowledge they were either carriers, non-carriers, or could be a carrier of fragile X syndrome (FXS). Parental role salience included the participants' desire "to be a mother" and the importance they placed on this role. Enactment focused on the participants' views regarding ways to become a mother (reproductive options), parenting a child affected by FXS, and the development of partner relationships (marriage). Participants completed the FXS Adolescent Interview and the FX-Visual Analog Scale. Participants' knowledge of their genetic risk status appears to have influenced both salience and enactment of the parental role, and the effect varied based on carrier status. For many, knowledge of genetic risk appears to have led to reappraisal, redefinition, and re-engagement with the goal of becoming a parent. This process was prominent in those who were carriers and less so in those who were at-risk, and it did not typically occur in those who were non-carriers. Findings offer valuable insight into the impact of genetic risk information on developing perceptions of the parental role and offer new directions for genetic counseling with adolescents and young women with a family history of FXS.

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