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J Forensic Sci. 2003 May;48(3):646-51.

Measures of aggression and mood changes in male weightlifters with and without androgenic anabolic steroid use.

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  • 1Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy Division, College of Pharmacy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52246, USA.


Supraphysiologic doses of testosterone are associated with increased aggression that is hypothesized to be a function of testosterone serum concentrations, mood, and personality. The study attempted to characterize this relationship among weightlifters who were users (n = 10) and nonusers (n = 18) of anabolic steroids. Participants were interviewed using the Modified Mania Rating Scale and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression to assess mood, the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI) and Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm (PSAP) to assess aggression, and the Personality Disorder Questionnaire (PDQ-R) to assess personality. Blood samples were obtained for the determination of total, free, and weakly bound testosterone. Comparisons of continuous variables between testosterone users and non-users were performed with a parametric (unpaired t-test) or non-parametric (Mann-Whitney) test where appropriate. Correlations with testosterone were examined separately for testosterone users and non-users, using Spearman rank correlation. The subjective (BDHI) and objective (PSAP) assessments of aggression found that supranormal testosterone concentrations were associated with increased aggression. However, the PDQ-R results suggest that this finding was confounded by the personality disorder profile of the steroid users, because steroid users demonstrated Cluster B personality disorder traits for antisocial, borderline, and histrionic personality disorder.

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