Preferences for Genetic and Behavioral Health Information: The Impact of Risk Factors and Disease Attributions

  • O'Neill S
  • McBride C
  • Alford S
 et al. 
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Increased availability of genetic risk information may lead the public to give precedence to genetic causation over behavioral/environmental factors, decreasing motivation for behavior change. Few population-based data inform these concerns. We assess the association of family history, behavioral risks, and causal attributions for diseases and the perceived value of pursuing information emphasizing health habits or genes. 1,959 healthy adults completed a survey that assessed behavioral risk factors, family history, causal attributions of eight diseases, and health information preferences. Participants' causal beliefs favored health behaviors over genetics. Interest in behavioral information was higher than in genetic information. As behavioral risk factors increased, inclination toward genetic explanations increased; interest in how health habits affect disease risk decreased. Those at greatest need for behavior change may hold attributions that diminish interest in information for behavior change. Enhancing understanding of gene-environment influences could be explored to increase engagement with health information.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Abstracting And Indexing Services
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Behavior
  • Consumer Health Information
  • Family Health
  • Family medical history
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease -- psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health risk assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in


  • Suzanne C PhD O'Neill

  • Colleen M PhD McBride

  • Sharon Hensley PhD Alford

  • Kimberly A ScD Kaphingst

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free