Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 469–478 | Cite as

Salivary testosterone and cortisol among late adolescent male offenders

  • James M. DabbsJr.
  • Gregory J. Jurkovic
  • Robert L. Frady


The relationship of salivary testosterone and cortisol concentrations to personality, criminal violence, prison behavior, and parole board decisions was examined among 113 late-adolescent male offenders. Offenders high in testosterone committed more violent crimes, were judged more harshly by the parole board, and violated prison rules more often than those low in testosterone. No main effects for cortisol emerged. However, as expected, a significant interaction between testosterone and cortisol was found, in which cortisol moderated the correlation between testosterone and violence of crime. Cortisol may be a biological indicator of psychological variables (e.g., social withdrawal) that moderate the testosterone-behavior relationship. Paper and pencil measures of personality and behavior showed little relationship to hormones.


Cortisol Testosterone Significant Interaction Violent Crime Cortisol Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. DabbsJr.
    • 1
  • Gregory J. Jurkovic
    • 1
  • Robert L. Frady
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlanta
  2. 2.Georgia Department of CorrectionsLee Arrendale Correctional InstitutionAlto

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