Are adolescents the victims of raging hormones: evidence for activational effects of hormones on moods and behavior at adolescence

Psychol Bull. 1992 Jan;111(1):62-107. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.111.1.62.


The literatures on hormone changes at adolescence, hormonal influences on moods and behavior in nonhuman animals and adult humans, and mood and behavioral changes at adolescence and the small but burgeoning literature on hormonal influences at adolescence are examined. The focus is on moods and behaviors often identified as typically adolescent (e.g., mood lability, mood intensity, irritability, conflict with parents) and the primary hormones of puberty (i.e., the adrenal androgens, gonadotropins, and sex steroids). Through an integration of these literatures evidence is assessed for specific hormone-mood and hormone-behavior associations, as well as for more general types of hormone-outcome relations that transcend specific hormones or outcomes. Non-biological factors that appear to be important in moderating the role of hormones in adolescent moods and behavior are identified. Implications for the design of future studies in this area are detailed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Sexual Maturation / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones