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Salivary cortisol and aggression in a population-based longitudinal study of adolescent males

van Bokhoven, I., Van Goozen, Stephanie Helena Maria, van Engeland, H., Schaal, B., Arseneault, L., Séguin, J. R., Nagin, D. S., Vitaro, F. and Tremblay, R. E. 2004. Salivary cortisol and aggression in a population-based longitudinal study of adolescent males. Journal of Neural Transmission 112 (8) , pp. 1083-1096. 10.1007/s00702-004-0253-5

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Chronic antisocial behaviour in youth has been associated with cortisol, a measure of stress reactivity. However, some studies have found low cortisol levels, while others have found elevated cortisol levels. The present study compared variously defined aggressive subgroups for differences in salivary cortisol. A population-based sample of boys was followed longitudinally from childhood to adolescence. Assessments of different forms of antisocial behaviour were obtained from various informants at several points in time, and cortisol was collected at age 13. Higher cortisol levels were found in boys with conduct disorder (CD) than in boys without CD. In addition, boys with an aggressive form of CD had higher cortisol levels than boys who showed a covert form of CD. Furthermore, reactive aggression was strongly correlated with elevated cortisol. Adolescent boys with chronic reactive aggression and those who scored high on aggressive CD symptoms seem to have a more active hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Salivary cortisol, aggression, longitudinal study, males
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0300-9564
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:05

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