Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 535–544 | Cite as

Socioeconomic Status and Psychological Function in Children with Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: Implications for Genetic Counseling

  • Vandana ShashiEmail author
  • Matcheri Keshavan
  • Jessica Kaczorowski
  • Kelly Schoch
  • Kathryn E. Lewandowski
  • Allyn McConkie-Rosell
  • Stephen R. Hooper
  • Thomas R. Kwapil
Original Research


The purpose of this study is to examine the association between parental socio-economic status (SES) and childhood neurocognition and behavior in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS). Although undoubtedly, the deletion of genes in the 22q11.2 interval is primarily responsible for the psychological manifestations, little is known about the role of the environment in either mitigating or contributing to these problems. We examined the association of parental socio-economic status (SES) with cognition and behavior in children with 22q11DS (n = 65) and matched healthy control subjects (n = 52), since SES is a component of family resources. We found that in children with 22q11DS, higher SES correlated with better overall functioning (p < .01) and social skills (p < .01), and less frequent oppositional defiant behavior (p < .001). These findings were in contrast to the control subjects in whom SES correlated with cognition and achievement, but not behavior. Our results indicate that environmental factors influence the behavioral phenotype in children with 22q11DS, providing a framework for developing appropriate interventions. As such, genetic counseling for families with 22q11DS may include consideration of family resources and inclusion of other health professionals, such as social workers, to explore with the family available social supports and resources.


22q11.2 deletion syndrome Velocardiofacial syndrome DiGeorge syndrome SES Neurocognition Psychopathology 



This work was supported by R01MH078015-02 PI: SHASHI, V


The authors have no conflict of interest to declare. The primary author, Vandana Shashi has all the data presented in this manuscript and this data would be available to the journal, if necessary, for examination.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vandana Shashi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Matcheri Keshavan
    • 3
  • Jessica Kaczorowski
    • 4
  • Kelly Schoch
    • 1
  • Kathryn E. Lewandowski
    • 3
  • Allyn McConkie-Rosell
    • 1
  • Stephen R. Hooper
    • 5
  • Thomas R. Kwapil
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical GeneticsDuke University Health SciencesDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Wake Forest University Health SciencesWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and PediatricsUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA

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