Within-person coupling of changes in cortisol, testosterone, and DHEA across the day in adolescents

Kristine Marceau, Paula L. Ruttle, Elizabeth A. Shirtcliff, Paul D. Hastings, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, Carolyn Zahn-Waxler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We comprehensively examined within-person and between-person associations between cortisol and DHEA and cortisol and testosterone across the day. Data are from a sample of 213 adolescents aged 11-16 (M=13.7, SD=1.5 years) from the Northeastern US who were oversampled for psychopathology symptoms. Six repeated measures of hormone levels across 3 days were used to test three specific questions of cortisol-DHEA and cortisol-testosterone associations within individuals (coupling) across the day, and one question of cortisol-DHEA and cortisol-testosterone diurnal slopes were associated between adolescents. Results consistently revealed positive cortisol-DHEA and cortisol-testosterone coupling across the day, often more pronounced in girls relative to boys. Cortisol and DHEA slopes were positively associated, whereas cortisol and testosterone were negatively associated between-adolescents. Findings suggest multiple mechanisms and highlight the multifaceted nature of associations of hormone changes during adolescence and importance of considering both axes for between- and within-person aspects of neuroendocrine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-669
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Cortisol
  • DHEA
  • Diurnal
  • Testosterone
  • Within-person coupling


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