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Balancing Risks and Benefits of Deception in Assessing Genetic Screening Utilization

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Objective: To advocate that research using intentional deception is sometimes appropriate. Methods: A deception paradigm created to assess utilization of genetic screening for alcoholism susceptibility is reviewed in the context of competing ethical obligations and objections to the procedure. Conclusions: The paradigm is ethically defensible, it generates useful knowledge about future utilization of alcoholism screening by college students, and it exposes participants to no more than minimal risk. The use of deception to address questions related to predictive genetic screening will require investigators to balance protection of participants with the need to advance knowledge.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Adult, Counseling, Health and Vocational Education, Kent State University, Kent, OH. 2: Mahoney Consulting Group, Inc., Kent, OH.

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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