Psychol Addict Behav 2007 Dec;21(4):462-8
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.
This investigation determined the influence of testosterone and neurobehavioral disinhibition (ND) on risk for substance use disorder (SUD). Testosterone level during puberty was hypothesized to promote social dominance associated with norm-violating behavior that, in turn, predisposes individuals to use of illicit drugs and, subsequently, SUD. Using a prospective paradigm, the authors recruited 179 boys (mean age=11.62 years, SD=0.88) and followed up when participants were ages 12-14, 16, 19, and 22. Results indicated that social dominance/norm-violating behavior (SD/NVB) at age 16 mediated the association between testosterone level (ages 12-14) and SUD (age 22). In addition, SD/NVB mediated the association between ND and SUD. These findings suggest that development of SUD is influenced by androgen-dependent and neurobehavioral processes via a social motivational style characterized by SD/NVB.