Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 245–264 | Cite as

The relation of relative hormonal levels and physical development and social-emotional behavior in young adolescents

  • E. J. Susman
  • E. D. Nottelmann
  • G. E. Inoff-Germain
  • L. D. Dorn
  • G. B. CutlerJr.
  • D. L. Loriaux
  • G. P. Chrousos
Article

Abstract

The study examined the relation between timing of physical maturation and problems of adjustment and peer relations. The participants were 9-14-year-old boys (N=56) and girls (N=52). Assessments of physical maturation consisted of pubertal staging according to Tanner criteria and serum determinations of luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, testosterone, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and androstenedione. There was approximately an equal number of boys and girls in each pubertal stage. The psychological measures were the Psychopathology and Emotional Tone subscales from the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire for Adolescents and interview questions to assess interactions with peers. Psychopathology and emotional tone (sad effect) scores were higher for boys with high-for-age adrenal androgens and lower for boys with high-for-age sex steroids. Behavioral manifestations of sexuality, interest in dating, was higher for boys with high-for-age adrenal androgens. Dating and spending time with friends were higher for boys with high-for-age gonadotropins. Psychopathology and emotional tone were higher for girls with high-for-age gonadotropins. The results indicate that high-for-age hormone level or early timing of puberty generally was related to adverse psychological consequences for boys and girls, with relations being stronger for boys than for girls.

Keywords

Testosterone Estradiol Luteinizing Hormone Follicle Stimulate Hormone Androstenedione 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abraham, G. E., Busler, G. E., Lucas, L. A., Corrales, P. C., and Teller, R. C. (1972). Chromatographic separation of steroid hormones for use in radioimmunoassay.Analyt. Letters 5: 509–517.Google Scholar
  2. Bancroft, J., Sanders, D., Davidson, D., and Warner, P. (1983). Mood, sexuality, hormones, and the menstrual cycle. III. Sexuality and the role of androgens.Psychosom. Med. 45: 509–516.Google Scholar
  3. Blyth, D. A., Simmons, R. G., Bulcroft, R., Felt, D., Van Cleave, E. F., and Bush, D. M. (1981). The effects of physical development on self-esteem and satisfaction with body-image for early adolescent males.Res. Commun. Ment. Hlth. 2: 43–73.Google Scholar
  4. Boyer, R. Finkelstein, J., and Roffwang, H. (1972). Synchronization of augmented luteinizing hormone secretion with sleep during puberty.New Eng. J. Med. 287: 582–586.Google Scholar
  5. Brambilla, F., Smeraldi, E., Sacchetti, E., Negri, F., Cocchi, D., and Muller, E. E. (1978). Deranged anterior pituitary responsiveness to hypothalamic hormones in depressed patients.Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 35: 1231–1238.Google Scholar
  6. Broverman, D. M., Klaiber, E. L., Kobayashi, Y., and Vogel, W. (1968). Roles of activation and inhibition in sex differences in cognitive abilities.Psych. Rev. 75: 23–50.Google Scholar
  7. Cargille, C. M., and Rayford, P. L. (1970). Characterization of antisera for follicle-stimulating hormone radioimmunoassay.J. Lab. Clin. Med. 75: 1030–1040.Google Scholar
  8. Clausen, J. A. (1975). The social meaning of differential physical and sexual maturation. In Dragastin, S. E., and Elder, G. H., Jr. (eds.),Adolescence in the Life Cycle: Psychological Change and Social Context, Hemisphere, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  9. Collu, R., and Ducharme, J. R. (1978). Role of adrenal steroids in the initiation of pubertal mechanisms. In James, V. H. T., Serio, M., Giusti, G., and Martini, L. (eds.),The Endocrine Function of the Human Adrenal Cortex, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  10. Cutler, G. B., Jr., Glenn, M., Bush, M., Hodgen, G., Graham, C. E., and Loriaux, D. L. (1978). Adrenarche: A survey of rodents, domestic animals and primates.Endocrinology 103: 2112–2118.Google Scholar
  11. DeLignieres, B., and Vincens, M. (1982). Differential effects of exogenous oestradiol and progesterone on mood in post-menopausal women: Individual dose/effect relationship.Maturitas 4: 67–72.Google Scholar
  12. Ehrhardt, A., and Meyer-Bahlburg, H. (1975). Psychosocial correlates of abnormal pubertal development.Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 4: 207–222.Google Scholar
  13. Erb, J. L. Kadane, J. B., Tourney, G., Mickelsen, D., Szabo, R., and David, V. (1981). Discrimination between schizophrenic and control subjects by means of plasma dehydroepiandrosterone measurements.J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 52: 181–186.Google Scholar
  14. Faust, M. S. (1960). Developmental maturity as a determinant in prestige of adolescent girls.Child Dev. 31: 173–184.Google Scholar
  15. Ferrier, I. N., Cotes, P. M., Crow, T. J., and Johnstone, E. C. (1982). Gonadotropin secretion abnormalities in chronic schizophrenia.Psychol. Med. 12: 263–273.Google Scholar
  16. Forest, M. G., Cathiard, A. M., and Bertrand, J. A. (1973). Evidence of testicular activity in early infancy.J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 37: 148–151.Google Scholar
  17. Forest, M. G., Simonenko, P. C., Cathiard, A. M., and Bertrand, J. A. (1974). Hypophysogonadal function in humans during the first year of life.J. Clin. Investig. 53: 819–828.Google Scholar
  18. Frisch, R. E., Revelle, R., and Cook, S. (1973). Components of weight at menarche and the initiation of the adolescent growth spurt in girls: Estimated total water, lean body weight and fat.Hum. Biol. 45: 469–483.Google Scholar
  19. Gallo, R. V. (1980). Futher studies on dopamine-induced supression of pulsatile LH release in ovariectomized rats.Neuroendocrinology 32: 187–192.Google Scholar
  20. Gold, P. W., and Chrousos, G. P. (In press). Clinical studies with corticotropin releasing factor: Implications for the diagnosis and pathophysiology of depression, Cushing's disease and adrenal insufficiency.Psychoneuroendocrinology.Google Scholar
  21. Gray, J. A., and Buffery, A. W. H. (1971). Sex differences in emotional and cognitive behavior in mammals including man: Adaptive and neural bases.Acta Psychologica 35: 89–111.Google Scholar
  22. Hamburg, B. A., and Inoff, G. E. (1982). Relationships between behavioral factors and diabetic control in children and adolescents: A camp study.Psychosoma. Med. 44: 321–339.Google Scholar
  23. Hollingshead, A. B. (1975).Four Factor Index of Social Status, New Haven, Conn., Yale University.Google Scholar
  24. Houser, B. B. (1979). An investigation of the correlation between hormonal levels in males and mood, behavior, and physical discomfort.Hormones Behav. 12: 185–197.Google Scholar
  25. Inoff, G. E., and Halverson, C. F., Jr. (1977). Behavioral disposition of child and caretakerchild interaction.Dev. Psychol. 13: 274–281.Google Scholar
  26. Johnstone, E. C., and Ferrier, I. N. (1980). Neuroendocrine markers of CNS drug effects.Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 10: 5–21.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, M. C., and Bayley, N. (1950). Physical maturing among boys as related to behavior.J. Educ. Psychol. 41: 129–148.Google Scholar
  28. Lloyd, J. A. (1975). Social behavior and hormones. In Eleftheriou, B. E., and Sprott, R. L. (eds.),Hormonal Correlates of Behavior: A Lifespan View, Vol. 1, New York, Plenum Press, pp. 185–204.Google Scholar
  29. Marshall, W. A., and Tanner, J. M. (1969). Variations in the pattern of pubertal changes in girls.Arch. Dis. Childhood 44: 291–303.Google Scholar
  30. Marshall, W. A., and Tanner, J. M. (1970). Variations in the pattern of pubertal changes in boys.Arch. Dis. Childhood 45: 13–23.Google Scholar
  31. Mattsson, A., Schalling, D., Olweus, D., Low, H., and Svensson, J. (1980). Plasma testosterone, aggressive behavior, and personality dimensions in young male delinquents.J. Am. Acad. Child Psychiat. 19: 476–490.Google Scholar
  32. Newcombe, N., and Bandura, M. M. (1983). Effect of age at puberty on spatial ability in girls: A question of mechanism.Dev. Psychol. 19: 215–224.Google Scholar
  33. Nieschlag, E., and Loriaux, D. L. (1972). Radioimmunoassay for plasma testosterone.Z. Klin. Chem. Klin. Biochem. 10: 164–168.Google Scholar
  34. Nottelmann, E. D., Susman, E. J., Dorn, L. D., Inoff-Germain, G. E., Loriaux, D. J., Cutler, G. B. Jr., and Chrouses, G. P. (1985). Developmental processes in early adolescence: I. Relations among chronological age, pubertal stage, height, weight and serum levels of gonadotropins, sex steroids, and adrenal androgens. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  35. Odell, W. D., Ross, G. T., and Rayford, P. L. (1967). Radioimmunoassay for luteinizing hormone in human plasma or serum: Physiological studies.J. Clin. Investig. 46: 248–255.Google Scholar
  36. Offer, D., Ostrov, E., and Howard, K. I. (1977).The Offer Self-Image Questionnaire for Adolescents. A Manual, Chicago, Micheal Reese Hospital.Google Scholar
  37. Olweus, D., Mattsson, A., Schalling, D., and Low, H. (1980). Testosterone aggression, physical, and personality dimensions in normal adolescent males.Psychosom. Med. 42: 253–269.Google Scholar
  38. Peskin, H. (1967). Pubertal onset and ego functioning: A psychoanalytic approach.J. Abnorm. Psychol. 72: 1–15.Google Scholar
  39. Peskin, H., and Livson, N. (1972). Pre- and post-pubertal personality and adult psychological functioning.Seminars Psychiat. 4: 343–353.Google Scholar
  40. Pfaff, D. W. (1980).Estrogens and Brain Function, New York, Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  41. Reyes, F. I., Winter, J. S. D., and Faiman, C. (1973). Studies on human sexual development. I. Fetal gonadal and adrenal sex steroids.J. Clin. Endocrinol. 37: 74–78.Google Scholar
  42. Reyes, F. I., Boroditsky, R. S., Winter, J. S. D., and Fairron, C. (1974). Studies on human sexual development. II. Fetal and maternal serum gonadotropins and sex steroid concentration.J. Clin. Endocrinol. 38: 612–617.Google Scholar
  43. Sar, M. (1984). Estradiol is concentrated in tyrosine-hydroxylase-containing neurons of the hypothalamus.Science 223: 938–940.Google Scholar
  44. Simmons, R. G., Blyth, D. A., and McKinney, K. L. (1983). The social and psychological effects of puberty on White females. In Brooks-Gunn, J., and Perterson, A. C. (eds.),Girls at Puberty, New York, Plenum.Google Scholar
  45. van de Poll, N. E., Smeets, J., van Oyen, H. G., and van der Zwan, S. M. (1982). Behavioral consequences of agonistic experience in rats: Sex differences and the effects of testosterone.J. Compar. Physiol. Psychol. 96: 893–903.Google Scholar
  46. Waber, D. P. (1977). Sex differences in mental abilities, hemispheric lateralization and rate of physical growth at adolescence.Dev. Psychol. 13: 29–38.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. J. Susman
    • 2
  • E. D. Nottelmann
    • 2
  • G. E. Inoff-Germain
    • 2
  • L. D. Dorn
    • 2
  • G. B. CutlerJr.
    • 1
  • D. L. Loriaux
    • 1
  • G. P. Chrousos
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Developmental PsychologyNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesda

Personalised recommendations