Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 57
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kam, Sylvia Bylstra, Yasmin Forrest, Laura Macciocca, Ivan and Foo, Roger 2018. Experience of Asian males communicating cardiac genetic risk within the family. Journal of Community Genetics, Vol. 9, Issue. 3, p. 293.

    Alidu, Lailah and Grunfeld, Elizabeth A. 2017. Gender differences in beliefs about health: a comparative qualitative study with Ghanaian and Indian migrants living in the United Kingdom. BMC Psychology, Vol. 5, Issue. 1,

    Levin, Trine and Mæhle, Lovise 2017. Uptake of genetic counseling, genetic testing and surveillance in hereditary malignant melanoma (CDKN2A) in Norway. Familial Cancer, Vol. 16, Issue. 2, p. 257.

    Hughes Halbert, Chanita Welch, Brandon Lynch, Cheryl Magwood, Gayenell Rice, LaShanta Jefferson, Melanie and Riley, Jodie 2016. Social determinants of family health history collection. Journal of Community Genetics, Vol. 7, Issue. 1, p. 57.

    Morris, Megan Glass, Merlyn Wessels, Tina-Marié and Kromberg, Jennifer G. R. 2015. Mothers’ Experiences of Genetic Counselling in Johannesburg, South Africa. Journal of Genetic Counseling, Vol. 24, Issue. 1, p. 158.

    Etchegary, Holly Green, Jane Parfrey, Patrick Street, Catherine and Pullman, Daryl 2015. Community engagement with genetics: public perceptions and expectations about genetics research. Health Expectations, Vol. 18, Issue. 5, p. 1413.

    Dimond, Rebecca 2014. Negotiating blame and responsibility in the context of a “de novo” mutation. New Genetics and Society, Vol. 33, Issue. 2, p. 149.

    Christensen, Kurt D and Green, Robert C 2013. How could disclosing incidental information from whole-genome sequencing affect patient behavior?. Personalized Medicine, Vol. 10, Issue. 4, p. 377.

    Dimond, Rebecca 2013. Patient and family trajectories of mitochondrial disease: diversity, uncertainty and genetic risk. Life Sciences, Society and Policy, Vol. 9, Issue. 1,

    Arribas-Ayllon, Michael Sarangi, Srikant and Clarke, Angus 2012. eLS.

    Mendes, Álvaro and Sousa, Liliana 2012. Families’ experience of oncogenetic counselling: accounts from a heterogeneous hereditary cancer risk population. Familial Cancer, Vol. 11, Issue. 2, p. 291.

    Williams, Joanne M. 2012. Children and adolescents’ understandings of family resemblance: A study of naïve inheritance concepts. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 225.

    Peters, June A. Kenen, Regina Hoskins, Lindsey M. Koehly, Laura M. Graubard, Barry Loud, Jennifer T. and Greene, Mark H. 2011. Unpacking the Blockers: Understanding Perceptions and Social Constraints of Health Communication in Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Susceptibility Families. Journal of Genetic Counseling, Vol. 20, Issue. 5, p. 450.

    Saleh, Mona Barlow-Stewart, Kristine Meiser, Bettina Kirk, Judy and Tucker, Kathy 2011. An Exploration of the Cultural Context of Kinship and Genetics Amongst Arabic-Australians: Implications for Practice. Journal of Genetic Counseling, Vol. 20, Issue. 5, p. 465.

    Laegsgaard, M. M. Stamp, A. S. Hall, E. O. C. and Mors, O. 2010. The perceived and predicted implications of psychiatric genetic knowledge among persons with multiple cases of depression in the family. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 122, Issue. 6, p. 470.

    Metcalfe, Alison Pumphrey, Rachel and Clifford, Collette 2010. Hospice nurses and genetics: implications for end-of-life care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, Vol. 19, Issue. 1-2, p. 192.

    Williams, Joanne M. and Smith, Lesley A. 2010. Concepts of kinship relations and inheritance in childhood and adolescence. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 28, Issue. 3, p. 523.

    Etchegary, Holly Lemyre, Louise Wilson, Brenda and Krewski, Dan 2009. Is genetic makeup a perceived health risk: analysis of a national survey of Canadians. Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 223.

    Dickenson, Donna L 2009. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.

    Mason, Jennifer 2008. Tangible Affinities and the Real Life Fascination of Kinship. Sociology, Vol. 42, Issue. 1, p. 29.

  • Print publication year: 1996
  • Online publication date: June 2011

12 - Families, kinship and genetics

from Part III - Social context

I am the family face;

Flesh perishes, I live on,

Projecting trait and trace

Through time to times anon,

And leaping from place to place

Over oblivion.

Thomas Hardy, 1840–1928: Heredity.


Genetics concerns families and kinship. It is the study of the ways in which heritable characteristics and conditions are passed from parents to children through the generations. As the new genetics develops, the possibilities of describing the gene mutations that an individual may carry and may pass to children are increasing dramatically. This new knowledge and the ways in which it is employed may have profound consequences for family life and relationships.

The public's knowledge and beliefs about inheritance have not arisen de novo with the coming of the new genetics, or even with Mendelian genetics at the turn of the century: they have long been part of family culture. Much family talk is about particular characteristics of family members, who these may have been acquired from, and who they may be passed to. Witnessing family members greet a new baby demonstrates the important process of ‘placing’ the new baby in terms of characteristics shared with forebears. Increasingly, we have photographs and other visual evidence of the appearance of our forebears and we use these to point to similarities and differences. In my own family I am said to get my nose from my mother's family but have a temperament more like some of my father's male relatives.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Troubled Helix
  • Online ISBN: 9780511570049
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *