Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Sci. 2018 May;29(5):688-699. doi: 10.1177/0956797617742981. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

Hair and Salivary Testosterone, Hair Cortisol, and Externalizing Behaviors in Adolescents.

Author information

1
1 Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin.
2
2 Department of Psychology, Northwestern University.
3
3 Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Abstract

Although testosterone is associated with aggression in the popular imagination, previous research on the links between testosterone and human aggression has been inconsistent. This inconsistency might be because testosterone's effects on aggression depend on other moderators. In a large adolescent sample ( N = 984, of whom 460 provided hair samples), we examined associations between aggression and salivary testosterone, hair testosterone, and hair cortisol. Callous-unemotional traits, parental monitoring, and peer environment were examined as potential moderators of hormone-behavior associations. Salivary testosterone was not associated with aggression. Hair testosterone significantly predicted increased aggression, particularly at low levels of hair cortisol (i.e., Testosterone × Cortisol interaction). This study is the first to examine the relationship between hair hormones and externalizing behaviors and adds to the growing literature that indicates that androgenic effects on human behavior are contingent on aspects of the broader endocrine environment-in particular, levels of cortisol.

KEYWORDS:

Testosterone × Cortisol; aggression; hair hormones; rule breaking; salivary testosterone

PMID:
29443645
PMCID:
PMC5945305
DOI:
10.1177/0956797617742981
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center