Hormones—Context Interactions and Antisocial Behavior In Youth*

  • Elizabeth J. Susman
  • Angelo Ponirakis
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)


The notion that hormones affect behavior has been around for centuries. Berthold’s 1849 famous experiment with roosters showed that removing the source of testosterone (T) decreased fighting, crowing, and mating behavior (McEwen & Schmeck, 1994). When T was restored, precastration behaviors and interests were restored leading to the conclusion that hormones have powerful effects on behavior. Unfortunately, since Berthold’s famous experiment, the specific mechanisms whereby hormones affect behavior remain unknown. What is known is that hormone concentrations, sex steroids in particular, are related to a diverse array of emotions and antisocial and aggressive behaviors. In addition to the growing body of empirical literature, theoretical models for considering the effects of hormones on behavior and the moderators of hormones and behavior in youth now are beginning to be articulated (Brooks-Gunn, Graber & Paikoff, 1994; Susman, Worrall, Murowchick, Frobose, & Schwab, in press). Hormones of both gonadal and adrenal origin are considered in these models. Earlier studies assessed only the associations between hormones and behavior whereas studies now consider the importance of the social context in which hormone-behavior interactions occur, as well as the developmental status of the individuals.


Behavior Problem Aggressive Behavior Antisocial Behavior Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Cortisol Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Susman
    • 1
  • Angelo Ponirakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biobehavioral HealthThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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