About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Scientists Identify Why Some Kids Turn Anti-social

by VR Sreeraman on October 1, 2008 at 4:56 PM
Font : A-A+

 Scientists Identify Why Some Kids Turn Anti-social

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a link between reduced levels of the 'stress hormone' cortisol and antisocial behaviour in male adolescents.

Levels of cortisol in the body usually increase when people undergo a stressful experience, such as public speaking, sitting an exam, or having surgery.

Advertisement

It enhances memory formation and is thought to make people behave more cautiously and to help them regulate their emotions, particularly their temper and violent impulses.

The new research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, shows that adolescents with severe antisocial behaviour do not exhibit the same increase in cortisol levels when under stress as those without antisocial behaviour.
Advertisement

The findings suggest that antisocial behaviour, at least in some cases, may be seen as a form of mental illness that is linked to physiological symptoms (involving a chemical imbalance of cortisol in the brain and body).

The scientists, led by Dr Graeme Fairchild and Professor Ian Goodyer, recruited participants for the study from schools, pupil referral units, and the Youth Offending Service.

amples of saliva were collected over several days from the subjects in a non-stressful environment to measure levels of the hormone under resting conditions.

The young men then took part in a stressful experiment that was designed to induce frustration. Samples of saliva were taken immediately before, during and after the experiment to track how cortisol changed during stress.

The differences between participants with severe antisocial behaviour and those without were most marked under stressful conditions. While the average adolescents showed large increases in the amount of cortisol during the frustrating situation, cortisol levels actually went down in those with severe antisocial behaviour.

These results suggest that antisocial behaviour may be more biologically-based than previously considered, just as some individuals are more vulnerable to depression or anxiety due to their biological make-up.

Dr Fairchild said, "If we can figure out precisely what underlies the inability to show a normal stress response, we may be able to design new treatments for severe behaviour problems. We may also be able create targeted interventions for those at higher risk.

"A possible treatment for this disorder offers the chance to improve the lives of both the adolescents who are afflicted and the communities in which they live."

Source: ANI
LIN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Height and Weight-Kids 

Recommended Reading
Adolescence Depression - Treatment
Treatment of adolescent depression involves a combination of psychotherapy and medications....
Rise in Children’s Mental Illness Linked to Stressed Parents’ Smacking: Research
A new Australian research has found evidence to link depression and anxiety suffered by ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use