African American mothers’ attitudes towards genetic testing in the InterGEN study

Michelle L. Wright, Kevin Newhall, Veronica Barcelona, Jacquelyn Y. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paucity of representation of people of color, particularly those of African ancestry, is a major issue in contemporary omics research. Metadata summarizing genome-wide association studies from 2005 to 2015 suggest that nearly 80% of participants are of European ancestry and only 2.4% are of African ancestry. Negative attitude towards genetic testing is a commonly cited belief as to why there is low representation of Americans of African ancestry participating in genetic studies. Using the attitudes towards genetic testing survey, administered as part of our parent (epi)genome-wide association study, we characterized the perceptions of genetic research among our cohort of African ancestry women (n = 168). Our data show generally favorable perceptions of genetic testing among our cohort. Further, we demonstrate that more favorable attitudes towards genetic testing correlated with higher levels of income, even when accounting for commonly cited negative predictors such as maternal age, education, country of origin, and religion. Overall, our data characterize generally positive perceptions of genetic testing among women of African ancestry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Community Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • (4-6) Genetic testing
  • African American
  • Attitudes
  • InterGEN
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Genetics(clinical)


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