Criminal Cortisol

Cross references:  Criminal Hormones     Stress       Cortisol  
Corticotropin-releasing factor family (CRF)    Testosterone    HPA Axis   
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)   Luteinizing Hormone     


FINAL SUMMARY
OF SIX REFERENCES
1985 - 2009


    "A negative relationship between the magnitude of behavioral deviation and  Cortisol level has been observed in adults"      
    " Cortisol concentration showed a significant negative correlation with the child’s Conduct Disorder (CD) symptom count."   


INITIAL SUMMARIES
OF THE REFERENCES


Following are initial summaries of the references.  The references are designated by the first words of their title and their year of publication.   

The references themselves follow this list of their initial summaries. 

NOTE: 
    Although not specified in any of the references, there's a very important intermediary between
Cortisol level and behavior.  Since cortisol has a direct inhibitory effect on the testicular Luteinizing Hormone receptor and steroidogenesis, low cortisol causes high Testosterone, and the behavioral consequences of low cortisol may well be due to the resulting high testosterone. 
    See: 
Cortisol & Testosterone .      


Urinary free Cortisol secretion ... 1985
    "
Only among the habitually violent offenders with antisocial personality were the values [of cortisol] low when compared with other violent offenders, antisocial personality without the habitually violent tendency, and male clinic personnel."


Antisocial symptoms ... 1993   
    "A negative relationship between the magnitude of behavioral deviation and  Cortisol level has been observed in adults"      
    " Cortisol concentration showed a significant negative correlation with the child’s Conduct Disorder (CD) symptom count."         


Attention-deficit hyperactivity ... 1998   
    "Baseline and stimulated levels of  Cortisol were significantly lower in
ADHD youngsters who had retained their diagnosis than those who had not"  



Low Salivary cortisol ... 2000   
    many additional references   
     “Low  Cortisol levels were associated with persistence and early onset of aggression" 
    "We report a follow-up of the subjects from those original studies that further establishes an inverse association between  Cortisol and aggression,  and that suggests that boys with persistently low salivary  Cortisol concentrations have a markedly elevated risk of continuing in aggressive antisocial behavior."  
    "We found that salivary  Cortisol concentrations sampled over time were inversely associated with several measures of aggression and disruptive behavior collected roughly over the same interval."   


Disruptive behaviors and HPA-axis ... 2007   
    "Our study indicated that HPA Axis functioning may be more relevant in clinical or high risk samples than at the general population level." 


Children's Context Inappropriate Anger ... 2009  
    "For the boys, higher levels of context inappropriate (CI) anger predicted lower morning  Cortisol and flattening of the diurnal slope of  Cortisol compared with lower levels of CI anger."   
   
 
       
 
THE REFERENCES


Urinary free  Cortisol secretion in habitually violent offenders (PubMed) 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2994368   - 1985       
Only abstract available online. 
The library was not able to access the PDF. 
    "
Male violent offenders (n = 90) and residivious arsonists (n = 10) were investigated by urinary (24 h) free 
Cortisol measurements at mental examination on a psychiatric department."   
    "
Only among the habitually violent offenders with antisocial personality were the values
[of cortisol] low when compared with other violent offenders, antisocial personality without the habitually violent tendency, and male clinic personnel."    
    "Poor motivation already in school, truancy, attention deficit and undersocialized aggressive conduct disorder problems seemed to be connected with the low 
Cortisol levels. 
My comment:   
    Since cortisol has a d
irect inhibitory effect on the testicular luteinizing hormone receptor and steroidogenesis, low cortisol causes high testosterone, and the behavioral consequences of low cortisol may well be due to the resulting high testosterone. 
    See: 
Cortisol & Testosterone .    


Antisocial symptoms in preadolescent boys and in their parents: associations with  Cortisol  (PubMed)  - 1993   
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8464960 
Only abstract available online.  I got the PDF through the library.    
from the abstract 
    "
Conduct disorder (CD) symptom counts in preadolescent boys, and antisocial personality disorder (ASP) and childhood conduct disorder symptom counts in their parents, were used as dimensional measures of behavioral deviation."   
    "
Saliva 
Cortisol level in the children was negatively associated with their CD symptom count and with their fathers' ASP count.  Cortisol level was also lower among sons whose fathers had CD as children and subsequently developed ASP compared with the  Cortisol level in sons whose fathers either did not have any Axis I psychiatric disorder or did not develop ASP."  
from the PDF 
    "A negative relationship between the magnitude of behavioral deviation and 
Cortisol level has been observed in adults"      
    "
Cortisol levels were significantly lower in the sons of those fathers who qualified for a diagnosis of CD before the age of 18 and for ASP as adults (CD-+/ASP+) compared both to children of fathers who had CD before the age of 18 but did not develop an ASP disorder (CD-l-/ASP-) (respective means of the log-transformed salivary  Cortisol concentrations: 5.211 and 5.655, p < O.O1), and to the children of fathers who had neither CD nor ASP (CD-/ASP-) (mean logarithm  Cortisol concentration = 5.451, p < 0.05)"    
    "
Cortisol concentration showed a significant negative correlation with the child’s CD symptom count."         
My comment:   
    As above, since cortisol has a d
irect inhibitory effect on the testicular luteinizing hormone receptor and steroidogenesis, low cortisol causes high testosterone, and the behavioral consequences of low cortisol may well be due to the resulting high testosterone. 
    See: 
Cortisol & Testosterone .    


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and the stress response (PubMed) 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9646887     - 1998   
Only the abstract is available online.  I got the PDF through the library.   
from the abstract   
    "
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder whose three main symptoms are impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity. Researchers have proposed that the central deficit in ADHD is one of poor response inhibition.
"    
    "
Pretest and post-test morning salivary samples for 
Cortisol determination were collected from subjects given a battery of tests."  
    "
The data suggest that an impaired response to stress may be a marker for the more developmentally persistent form of the disorder.
"    
from the PDF 
    "The hypothesis to be tested is whether ADHD subjects who maintained their diagnosis over the first year of this study would have a blunted physiological response to a stressor as manifested through blunted  Cortisol levels after psychological testing in comparison to those ADHD subjects who no longer retained the disorder 1 year later."  
    "Baseline and stimulated levels of 
Cortisol were significantly lower in
ADHD youngsters who had retained their diagnosis than those who had not  
    In addition, the 
Cortisol levels were not significantly different in the ADHD subjects after psychological testing relative to their pretesting levels, suggesting that the already blunted stress response in the persistently ADHD group remained depressed even after the challenge of psychological testing."    
    "This study contributes to a growing body of evidence showing that the HPA axis may be dysfunctional in some subjects with ADHD.  In particular, subjects who appeared to have persistence of their ADHD over a 1-year period of time displayed a reduced level of stress response at pretesting and posttesting relative to ADHD children whose disorder did not persist over this 1-year period."   

    "Kaneko and others also found a loss of normal diurnal 
Cortisol release in youngsters with ADHD compared to adult controls."       
My comment:   
    As above, since cortisol has a d
irect inhibitory effect on the testicular luteinizing hormone receptor and steroidogenesis, low cortisol causes high testosterone, and the behavioral consequences of low cortisol may well be due to the resulting high testosterone. 
    See: 
Cortisol & Testosterone .    


Low Salivary  Cortisol and Persistent Aggression in Boys Referred for Disruptive Behavior (Goog)  - 2000   
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/57/1/38 
Full length PDF available online for free. 
Must download to copy-and-paste.
from the summary (abstract) 
    
“Low  Cortisol levels were associated with persistence and early onset of aggression, particularly when measures of  Cortisol concentrations were pooled.   Boys with low  Cortisol concentrations at both time points exhibited triple the number of aggressive symptoms and were named as most aggressive by peers 3 times as often as boys who had higher  Cortisol concentrations at either sampling time.”  
    "This suggests that low hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal axis activity is a correlate of severe and persistent aggression in male children and adolescents.  A restricted (low) range of 
Cortisol variability may be more indicative of persistent aggression than a low concentration of  Cortisol at any single point in time."  
from the paper 
    "Conduct disorder (CD) refers to a pattern of antisocial behavior in childhood or adolescence ... Two types are operationally distinguished by whether the first symptom appears before or after age 10 years." 
    "The more severe childhood-onset CD is typically marked by more aggressiveness, more severely disturbed peer relations, and a lengthier course than seen with adolescent-onset CD. Childhood-onset CD is notoriously difficult to treat.  Children who exhibit this pattern often sustain severely antisocial behavior into the fourth or fifth decade of life, along the way accounting for a hugely disproportionate percentage of total crimes committed and acts of victimization on others."   
    "We have found that boys ... with CD whose behavior is unconstrained by comorbid anxiety have low concentrations of 
Cortisol in the saliva, are more aggressive, and are more often rejected by their peers."  
    "Boys with CD and low 
Cortisol concentrations were found to exhibit aggression at younger ages than boys with CD and  Cortisol concentrations in the upper ranges."    
    "We report a follow-up of the subjects from those original studies that further establishes an inverse association between 
Cortisol and aggression,  and that suggests that boys with persistently low salivary  Cortisol concentrations have a markedly elevated risk of continuing in aggressive antisocial behavior."  
   "Subjects were assigned to 1 of 3 
Cortisol groups:  
    (1) persistently low, 
Cortisol concentrations below the median in both years (n = 12);  
    (2) variable, 
Cortisol concentrations above the median in 1 year and below in the other (n = 15); or
    (3) persistently high, 
Cortisol concentrations above the median in both years (n = 11)."   
    "The variable and persistently high 
Cortisol groups did not differ on aggressive CD symptoms, peer aggression nominations, covert CD, or ODD symptoms.  
    The persistently low 
Cortisol group was significantly worse than the remainder of the sample on all 4 of these variables, incurring roughly 3 times as many aggression counts (5.2 vs 1.5 aggressive CD symptoms, 33.5 vs 10.5 peer aggression nominations, 6 vs 2 covert CD symptoms, and 28.6 vs 16.8 ODD symptoms)."     
    "We found that salivary 
Cortisol concentrations sampled over time were inversely associated with several measures of aggression and disruptive behavior collected roughly over the same interval.  Cortisol concentration was directly linked to aggression and indirectly to covert CD and hyperactivity via comorbidities of these syndromes with aggression. The age at which the first aggressive symptoms appeared was positively associated with  Cortisol concentration. Boys with early emergence (by age 10 years) of the first CD symptom had lower  Cortisol concentrations than those with late emergence."     

references recommended by this paper 
22.   Kruesi MJ, Schmidt ME, Donnelly M, Euthymia D, Hibbs ED, Hamburger SD. Urinary free cortisol output and disruptive behavior in children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1989;28:441-443. 
23.   Scerbo AS, Kolko DJ. Salivary testosterone and cortisol in disruptive children: relationship to aggressive, hyperactive and internalizing behaviors. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1994;3:1174-1184.
24.   Targum SD, Clarkson LL, Magac-Harris K, Marshall LE, Skwerer RG. Measurement of cortisol and lymphocyte subpopulations in depressed and conduct disordered adolescents. J Affect Disord. 1990;18:91-96.
25.   Schulz KP, Halperin JM, Newcorn JH, Sharma V, Gabriel S. Plasma cortisol and aggression in boys with ADHD. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997;36: 605-609. 
26.   Virkkunen M. Urinary free cortisol secretion in habitually violent offenders. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1985;72:40-44. 
27.   American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 1980.
28.   Vanyukov MM, Moss HB, Plail JA, Blackson T, Mezzich AC, Tarter RE. Antisocial symptoms in preadolescent boys and in their parents: associations with cortisol. Psychiatry Res. 1993;46:9-17.
29.   van Goozen SHM, Matthys W, Cohen-Kettenis PT, Gispen-de Wied C, Wiegant VM, van Engeland H. Salivary cortisol and cardiovascular activity during stress in oppositional-defiant disorder boys and normal controls. Biol Psychiatry. 1998; 43:531-539.
30.   King JA, Barkley RA, Barrettq S. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and the stress response. Biol Psychiatry. 1998;44:72-74. 
My comment:   
    As above, since cortisol has a d
irect inhibitory effect on the testicular luteinizing hormone receptor and steroidogenesis, low cortisol causes high testosterone, and the behavioral consequences of low cortisol may well be due to the resulting high testosterone. 
    See: 
Cortisol & Testosterone .    


Disruptive behaviors and HPA-axis activity in young adolescent
boys and girls from the general population  - 2007 
Full length PDF available online for free.   Must download to copy. 
from the abstract   
    "One thousand seven hundred and sixty eight 10- to 12-year-olds from the Dutch general population were investigated. 
    Disruptive behaviors were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist, the Youth Self-Report, and the Antisocial Behavior Questionnaire. Baseline morning and evening salivary cortisol levels were assessed.  
    Unexpectedly, small associations were found between disruptive behaviors, including attention problems, and higher cortisol levels.  However, all effect sizes of significant effects were very small.
    Our study indicated that HPA-axis functioning may be more relevant in clinical or high risk samples than at the general population level." 
    "Furthermore, because effect sizes were relatively small, it can be concluded that, in pre-adolescence, the measures of baseline
HPA-axis functioning that were used for the present study can not be used as biological markers for disruptive behaviors."       


Children's Context Inappropriate Anger and Salivary  Cortisol (PubMed)   
Full length HTML and PDF available online for free. 
    "
With some exceptions, studies have found aggressive or externalizing behavior related to decreased basal and reactive Cortisol ." 
    "
Children's angry responses, including those that were inappropriate to the situational context, did generally predict 
Cortisol measures. For the boys, higher levels of context inappropriate (CI) anger predicted lower morning  Cortisol and flattening of the diurnal slope of  Cortisol compared with lower levels of CI anger."   
My comment:   
    As above, since cortisol has a d
irect inhibitory effect on the testicular luteinizing hormone receptor and steroidogenesis, low cortisol causes high testosterone, and the behavioral consequences of low cortisol may well be due to the resulting high testosterone. 
    See: 
Cortisol & Testosterone .    


PubMed Search for "Virkkunen M" 

24>173
Inverse Correlation between Severity of Psychopathic Traits and Serum Cortisol Levels in Young Adult Violent Male Offenders 
http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowAbstract&ArtikelNr=000091021&Ausgabe=231603&ProduktNr=224276 
Nothing available online. 
 
Cited by

Increased testosterone-to-cortisol ratio in... 
Full length HTML available online for free.
This looks familiar. 

 


   
 















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