Article

Early androgen effects on aggression in children and adults with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 62901-6517, USA.
Psychoneuroendocrinology (Impact Factor: 5.14). 11/1997; 22(7):505-15. DOI: 10.1016/S0306-4530(97)00049-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Males are more likely than females to show aggressive behavior across species, ages, and situations, and these differences may be partly influenced by early hormones. We studied aggression in three samples of subjects with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), who were exposed to high levels of androgen in the prenatal and early postnatal periods. Controls were siblings and first cousins similar in age. In Sample 1, adolescents and adults completed the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), which includes an Aggression scale. In Sample 2, adolescents and adults completed the MPQ and a paper-and-pencil version of Reinisch's Aggression Inventory. In Sample 3, parents rated the aggression of children aged 3-12, using a modification of Reinisch's Inventory. In all three samples, control males had higher aggression scores than control females. Further, as predicted, females with CAH had higher aggression than control females, but the difference was significant only in adolescents and adults. These results suggest that early androgens contribute to variability in human aggression.

1 Bookmark
 · 
67 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The male predominance of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is one of the best-known, and at the same time, one of the least understood characteristics of these disorders. In this paper we review genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, and environmental mechanisms underlying this male preponderance. Sex-specific effects of Y-linked genes (including SRY expression leading to testicular development), balanced and skewed X-inactivation, genes that escape X-inactivation, parent-of-origin allelic imprinting, and the hypothetical heterochromatin sink are reviewed. These mechanisms likely contribute to etiology, instead of being simply causative to ASD. Environments, both internal and external, also play important roles in ASD's etiology. Early exposure to androgenic hormones and early maternal immune activation comprise environmental factors affecting sex-specific susceptibility to ASD. The gene-environment interactions underlying ASD, suggested here, implicate early prenatal stress as being especially detrimental to boys with a vulnerable genotype.
    Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 04/2014; · 7.99 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Upper limb second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) has been shown to be dependent on prenatal androgen exposure. A longer relative fourth digit to second digit is indicative of increased intrauterine testosterone exposure prenatally and the converse is also true for oestrogen exposure. The 2D:4D ratio has implications in the sporting, academic, financial and sexual arenas. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between smaller finger length ratios (2D:4D) and boxers fractures, in both men and women, by comparing the 2D:4D ratios in 150 boxers fractures and comparing them to matched controls. Boxers fractures are an injury classically incurred during acts of aggression and we postulated that this cohort of patients would have a smaller 2D:4D ratio in comparison to the normal population mean ratio. One hundred and fifty radiographs from patients with boxers fractures secondary to aggressive actions were analysed and the 2D:4D ratio was calculated. A further 150 X-rays from patients not involved in aggressive activities were used as a control group and the 2D:4D ratio was calculated in the same manner. We then performed statistical analysis to compare the 2D:4D ratios between our two groups. As predicted, the 2D:4D in males was smaller than females in all of the groups. However, our results showed that those presenting with a boxers fracture due to an aggression related injury had a statistically significant smaller 2D:4D ratio when compared to the normal population. Boxers fractures are injuries that typically occur from an aggressive act. It is well documented that a low 2D:4D ratio is reflective of an increased prenatal exposure to androgens, particularly testosterone. We have shown that boxers fractures are associated with a smaller 2D:4D ratio than the normal population, thus suggesting that persons exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens are more likely to exhibit aggressive tendencies in adulthood. Our results suggest that smaller digit ratios may predict a predisposition to acts of aggression, and as such result in an increased likelihood of sustaining an injury such as a boxers fracture. This relationship seems to be present independently of gender.
    Injury 08/2013; · 1.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the behavioral outcome in children with CAH and to identify the risk factors that may influence it. Participants (aged 6-18 years) included 29 girls and 20 boys with CAH and unaffected siblings (25 girls and 17 boys). Psychological adjustment was assessed with parent reports on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Information about disease characteristics was obtained from medical records. Our study reveals that there was higher incidence of parent-reported problem of anxious/depressed and withdrawn/depressed behaviours, somatic complaints, social, thought, and attention problems, and rule-breaking, aggressive, internalizing, and externalizing behaviour among children with CAH compared to controls. The prevalence of internalizing behaviour problems was higher in CAH boys compared with that of controls. Psychosocial adjustment of girls with CAH was found to be similar to unaffected female controls and was within the normal population range. Family income may be associated with behavioral outcome. Glucocorticoid dose may reflect disease severity which may be associated with behavioral outcome. We conclude that internalizing behavioral problem was prevalent among boys with CAH reflecting maladaptive adjustment in coping with chronic illness. This highlighted the importance of psychological and social support for the patients and their families.
    International Journal of Endocrinology 01/2014; 2014:483718. · 2.52 Impact Factor