Date of Conferral







Maureen Levine


Genetic susceptibility test results have been found to cause differences in coping behavior following testing for the APOE-ε4 gene, associated with Alzheimer's disease. Coping behaviors differ within the first 12 months of testing. Currently, no studies have been conducted beyond the first 12 months comparing positive (P) and negative (N) groups or how sex relates to coping behavior based on positive test results. Based on the theory of primary and secondary control, and theory of stress, appraisal, and coping this study compared differences in coping strategies based on genetic test results and between sexes with positive test results beyond the first 12 months. Participants (n = 280) were selected who had undergone testing for the APOE-ε4 gene 12 or more months prior to the study and had a relative diagnosed with AD. Coping strategies were measured using the Brief COPE scale. Independent measures t test results were significant, indicating differences in coping between P and N groups. The P group reported significantly higher levels of cognitive and emotional coping strategies than did the N group 12 or more months after receiving test results. These findings were consistent with previous studies that produced significances in cognitive and emotional coping strategies between groups in the first 12 months. The findings were non significant for cognitive and emotional coping strategies for sex in the positive group. This study contributes to social change by informing impact decision making by individuals with positive test results for the APOE-ε4 gene in making financial changes, life styles changes, and family and work adjustments affecting their community and society.