Role of Parenting Relationship Quality in Communicating about Maternal BRCA1/2 Genetic Test Results with Children

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It is known that many mothers rapidly share the results of their BRCA1/2 genetic testing with their children, especially adolescent children. What is less known is the extent to which these mothers may engage fathers in a discussion concerning genetic counseling and the anticipated disclosure of genetic test results to children, or seek shared decision making in this context. This short communication addresses this issue by first examining mothers' and fathers' discussions concerning a research study of family communication. In our view, this conversation likely served as a precursor to, and proxy indicator of, maternal receptivity to partner input regarding the genetic counseling/testing-results disclosure process. We further evaluated how the quality of the parenting relationship is associated with mothers' decisions to include or not include the child's father in this study. Finally, this report addresses potential ways in which the genetic counselor may be able to facilitate parental communication regarding the evolving process of disclosure of genetic information to children and adolescents.

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