This chapter examines the hormonal correlates of adjustment during early adolescence, the developmental period between the ages of 10 and 14. It includes a summary review of the literature concerned with relations among chronological age, pubertal stage, physical growth, and adjustment and behavior; an overview of studies on relations between hormones and behavior; and cross-sectional findings from an ongoing longitudinal study of relations. Most research on hormones and behavior in humans has been conducted with adults and has been concerned with aggression and dominance, depression, mood variability, mood variations across the menstrual cycle, and schizophrenia. However, hormone-behavior relations have been documented most extensively in animal studies. Small quantities of androgens-namely, testosterone and its precursor, androstenedione-are also of ovarian origin. However, in females circulating testosterone is derived primarily from metabolic conversion of androstenedione. The relations between adjustment problems and relatively high adrenal androgen and low sex steroid levels, however, also may reflect the effects of stress.
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