Adrenal androgen and gonadal hormone levels in adolescent girls with conduct disorder
ABSTRACT There are few data on the biological correlates of female antisocial behavior. This study compared adrenal androgen and gonadal hormone levels in adolescent girls with conduct disorder (CD) to girls without any psychiatric disorder (NC). We studied 87 girls, (47 CD; 36 NC), ages 15-17 years, obtaining three blood samples, drawn 20 min apart between 8 and 9 AM in the first 72 h of the onset of menstrual flow. Plasma was assayed for testosterone, estradiol, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and cortisol; area under the curve (AUC) for each of the three samples was used in the data analysis. We also calculated the Free Testosterone Index, Free Estrogen Index, Index of Hyperandrogenism and cortisol to DHEA ratio. In addition to receiving a full psychiatric interview, each girl completed a self-report questionnaire on general aggression. Main hormone analyses controlled for potentially confounding variables such as psychiatric comorbidity and race. Girls with CD had significantly lower cortisol to DHEA ratios, but did not differ from NC girls on any other hormone variable. Girls with symptoms of aggressive CD had significantly higher mean free testosterone indexes, lower SHBG levels, and lower cortisol to DHEA ratios than girls with non-aggressive CD. Girls with CD scored higher on the aggression questionnaire, but there was no association between general aggression and any hormone variable for the sample. Our data suggest that girls with CD, particularly aggressive CD, have lower cortisol to DHEA ratios, higher levels of free testosterone, and lower levels of SHBG. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Testosterone and cortisol have been proposed to jointly regulate aggressive behavior. However, few empirical studies actually investigated this joint relation in humans, and reported inconsistent findings. Also, samples in these studies were small and/or specific, and consisted largely of males. Therefore, in the current study testosterone and cortisol in relation to aggression were investigated in a non-clinical sample of 259 boys and girls (mean age 16.98 years, SD = 0.42, 56% boys). A positive testosterone/cortisol ratio, that is, high testosterone relative to cortisol, was found to be associated with aggressive behavior, explaining 7% of the variance. The interaction between testosterone and cortisol was not related to aggressive behavior and gender differences were not found. The ratio may reflect an imbalance leaving the individual more prone to rewarding aspects, than fearful of negative implications of aggressive behavior. Current findings indicate that this relation can be generalized to aggression in non-clinical adolescents. Aggr. Behav. 9999:XX-XX, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Aggressive Behavior 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/ab.21585 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Research on the association between testosterone and violent behavior has provided conflicting findings. The majority of studies on the association between testosterone and antisocial-violent behaviors has used a clinical sample of severely violent individuals. These studies have mostly assessed males. Objectives: To study sex differences in the association between testosterone and violent behaviors in a community sample of young adults in the United States. Patients and Methods: A longitudinal study of an inner city population on subjects aged from adolescence to adulthood was undertaken. Testosterone and violent behaviors were measured among 257 young adults with an average age of 22 years (range 21 to 23 years). We used regression analysis to test the association between testosterone and violent behaviors in male and female samples. Results: There was a significant positive correlation between testosterone levels and violent behaviors among females, but not males. The association between testosterone levels and violent behaviors among females was significant, as it was above and beyond the effects of socio-economic status, age, education, and race. Conclusions: Our findings provide more information about the biological mechanisms for violent behaviors among young female adults. The study also helps us better understand sex differences in factors associated with violent behaviors in the community.08/2014; 19(3):e18040. DOI:10.5812/traumamon.18040
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ABSTRACT: The feminist movement purports to improve conditions for women, and yet only a minority of women in modern societies self-identify as feminists. This is known as the feminist paradox. It has been suggested that feminists exhibit both physiological and psychological characteristics associated with heightened masculinization, which may predispose women for heightened competitiveness, sex-atypical behaviors, and belief in the interchangeability of sex roles. If feminist activists, i.e., those that manufacture the public image of feminism, are indeed masculinized relative to women in general, this might explain why the views and preferences of these two groups are at variance with each other. We measured the 2D:4D digit ratios (collected from both hands) and a personality trait known as dominance (measured with the Directiveness scale) in a sample of women attending a feminist conference. The sample exhibited significantly more masculine 2D:4D and higher dominance ratings than comparison samples representative of women in general, and these variables were furthermore positively correlated for both hands. The feminist paradox might thus to some extent be explained by biological differences between women in general and the activist women who formulate the feminist agenda.Frontiers in Psychology 09/2014; 5(1011). DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01011 · 2.80 Impact Factor