Hormone differences by psychopathology group and gender may have implications for understanding disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) and complexities of treatment outcomes. Current theoretical models emphasize contextual differences as moderators of hormone-behavior relations. This baseline report examined: (a) hormone differences in youth with and without DBD, and (b) contextual factors as moderators of behavior problems and hormones. 180 children and adolescents were enrolled (141 boys, mean 9.0 ± 1.7 years). DBD participants met criteria for conduct disorder (CD) and/or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) (n = 111); 69 were recruited as healthy comparisons (HC). Saliva was collected for testosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione. DBD youth had significantly higher androstenedione than the HC group. There was a group by gender interaction for basal cortisol mean with DBD boys and HC girls having lower cortisol. Moderating effects of contextual variables (e.g., family functioning, delinquent peers) were noted for cortisol and adrenal androgens. Findings argue for considering hormones as an influence on DBD beyond simple direct one-to-one associations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology