Culture and acculturation influences on Palestinian perceptions of prenatal genetic counseling

Rawan Awwad, Patricia Mc Carthy Veach, Dianne M. Bartels, Bonnie S. LeRoy

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29 Scopus citations


Patient cultural backgrounds strongly influence decision-making processes and outcomes in genetic counseling. The present study investigated influences of culture and acculturation on prenatal decision making processes of native Palestinians and Palestinian Americans. Seventeen native Palestinians and 14 first-generation, Palestinian Americans were interviewed and asked to imagine themselves as patients in hypothetical premarital and prenatal situations. Five major issues were investigated: 1) Influence of family history of an inherited condition on pre-marital decisions; 2) Perceptions of non-directive genetic counselor statements regarding options; 3) Role of gender in prenatal decisions; 4) Gender differences in emotional expression; and 5) Role of family and society in prenatal decisions. Several similarities and differences in native Palestinian and Palestinian American responses were obtained. Similarities appear to be due to common cultural roots, while differences may be due to acculturation. Practice and research recommendations are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acculturation
  • Arab culture
  • Culture and decision-making
  • Palestinian decision-making
  • Prenatal genetic counseling


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