THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN AGGRESSION AND DHEA-S

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2013-04-12

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Marshall, Hayley

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Purpose: The purpose was to assess the association between aggression, including the subcategories of physical, verbal, anger, and hostility aggression, with serum DHEA-S levels in non-Hispanic Caucasian (NHC), non-Hispanic African American (AA), and Hispanic (H) women, aged 20-40 years. Methods: Data were obtained from the Racial/Ethnic Differences in Stress Age Among Women Study. This study included women 20 - 40 years of age who were not pregnant and not taking glucocorticoids. Participants also did not have cancer; endocrine disorders (e.g. Diabetes Mellitus); thyroid, parathyroid, or adrenal gland disorders; or immunologic disease (e.g. HIV, AIDS, Lupus). Participants completed self-reported questionnaires including the Aggression Questionnaire. DHEA-S levels were measured via a blood draw. Five simple linear regression models were analyzed with each category of aggression as the independent variable and DHEA-S as the dependent variable. Multiple linear regressions included the aggression category, age, and race/ethnicity. Log-transformed DHEA-S was utilized to achieve normality. Statistical significance was assessed at alphad0.05. Results: A total of 70 women with mean age of 29.4(sd=5.4) were included. There were 23 NHC, 21 AA, and 27 H participants. In crude analysis, an increase in total(p=0.019) and verbal aggression (p=0.008) was associated with a decrease in logDHEA-S. The association for physical aggression approached significance (p=0.059). After controlling for age and race/ethnicity, an increase in verbal aggression (p=0.021) was associated with a decrease in logDHEA-S. A borderline association was observed for total aggression (p=0.054). Compared to NHC, being AA was associated with a decrease in logDHEA-S in models with total, physical, and anger aggression. The association approached significance in the models for verbal and hostility aggression. An increase in age was associated with a decrease in logDHEA-S in all models. Conclusions: Results indicate there is interplay between the psychosocial factors of physical, verbal, and total aggression (the first two being physical manifestations of aggression) with DHEA-S levels. Since DHEA-S is associated with many (non)physiological processes, it is important that future clinicians understand how these biopsychosocial aspects of life can influence each patient individually. If clinicians can understand these relationships, then they can work with their patients towards a goal of both physical and psychosocial well-being.

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