Moderating effects of autism on parent views of genetic screening for aggression

Intellect Dev Disabil. 2012 Oct;50(5):415-25. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-50.5.415.


Advances in gene-environment interaction research have revealed genes that are associated with aggression. However, little is known about parent perceptions of genetic screening for behavioral symptoms like aggression as opposed to diagnosing disabilities. These perceptions may influence future research endeavors involving genetic linkage studies to behavior, including proactive approaches for parents to avoid events leading to aggression. The purpose of this study was to solicit the perspectives of parents who have children with autism about screening for genes associated with aggression, compared to responses from those who have children without disabilities and those planning to have children. Parents of children with autism were more likely to support screening and the use of the results to seek treatment if necessary. Results are discussed in the context of surveillance screening and systematic early intervention for behavioral symptoms related to autism. The results may provide insight for clincians, researchers, policymakers, and advocacy groups related to diagnosing and treating aggression in people with autism.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / physiology*
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parenting
  • Parents*