The short-term psychological responses of 60 adult women tested for a BRCA1 gene mutation associated with a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer were investigated. Participants were members of a large kindred enrolled in an ongoing prospective study of the psychosocial impact of genetic testing. Initial results from participants who completed both the pretest baseline and the 1-2 week posttest follow-up interviews are reported. Gene mutation carriers manifested significantly higher levels of test-related psychological distress, as measured by the Impact of Event Scale, when compared with noncarriers. The highest levels of test-related distress were observed among mutation carriers with no history of cancer or cancer-related surgery. Although general distress (state anxiety) declined after testing, carriers were more distressed than noncarriers at follow-up.