Volume 48, Issue 3 (May 2003)
Measures of Aggression and Mood Changes in Male Weightlifters With and Without Androgenic Anabolic Steroid Use
Supraphysiologic doses of testosterone are associated with increased aggression that is hypothesized to be a function of testosterone serum concentrations, mood, and personality. The study attempted to characterize this relationship among weightlifters who were users (n = 10) and nonusers (n = 18) of anabolic steroids. Participants were interviewed using the Modified Mania Rating Scale and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression to assess mood, the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI) and Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm (PSAP) to assess aggression, and the Personality Disorder Questionnaire (PDQ-R) to assess personality. Blood samples were obtained for the determination of total, free, and weakly bound testosterone. Comparisons of continuous variables between testosterone users and non-users were performed with a parametric (unpaired t-test) or non-parametric (Mann-Whitney) test where appropriate. Correlations with testosterone were examined separately for testosterone users and non-users, using Spearman rank correlation. The subjective (BDHI) and objective (PSAP) assessments of aggression found that supranormal testosterone concentrations were associated with increased aggression. However, the PDQ-R results suggest that this finding was confounded by the personality disorder profile of the steroid users, because steroid users demonstrated Cluster B personality disorder traits for antisocial, borderline, and histrionic personality disorder.