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Am J Med Genet. 2000 Jun 19;92(5):336-42.

Carrier testing in fragile X syndrome: effect on self-concept.

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Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The purpose of the study was to explore self-concept in women at risk for inheriting the fragile X mutation. Time 1 measures were obtained prior to carrier testing and Time 2 measures were collected approximately 5 months after learning carrier status. The sample consisted of 42 women from 17 families. Measures included the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS), the fragile X Visual Analog Scale (VAS), and a structured interview. The TSCS provided a global measure of self-concept and the fragile X VAS and structured interview provided a contextual measure of self related to carrier status. Results indicated that there were no differences initially between carriers and noncarriers and no change from Time 1 to Time 2 on the TSCS. Analysis of the Time 1 fragile X VAS means for the total sample found a reduction in positive feelings about self. Analysis of the Time 2 fragile X VAS found that noncarriers reported improvement in feelings about self, with no change in feelings about self found in the carriers. Responses from the structured interview indicated that the feelings regarding self in the context of genetic testing are not related to global self-concept, but result from concerns regarding the implications of a positive carrier test for themselves and their families. This information highlights areas related to carrier testing that warrant further investigation and may ultimately result in modifications to the genetic counseling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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