To test or not to test? the role of attitudes, knowledge, and religious involvement among U.S. adults on intent-to-obtain adult genetic testing

Anda Botoseneanu, Jeffrey A. Alexander, Jane Banaszak-Holl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic testing can advance cancer prevention if current screening behaviors improve. Increased prevalence of high-risk genotypes within specific religious groups, use of religious venues for recruiting to genetic screening, and ethical-religious considerations argue for exploring the role of religiosity in forming genetic testing decisions. This study uses the theory of reasoned action and structural equation modeling to test the effects of religious involvement, attitudes, knowledge, and previous experience on intent-to-obtain genetic testing within a representative sample of 1,824 U.S. adults. A majority of respondents indicate willingness to test, especially for curable disorders. Attitudes, knowledge, and previous experience have significant direct effects, and religious involvement has an indirect effect, through its negative effect on attitudes, on intent-to-test. High religious involvement is associated with more negative attitudes toward genetic testing. The findings underscore the need to refine genetic testing outreach efforts to account for multiple influences on consumer intent-to-test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-628
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • attitudes
  • cancer
  • genetic testing
  • religion
  • structural equation modelling
  • testing behavior
  • theory of reasoned action

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