Within-person changes in salivary testosterone and physical characteristics of puberty predict boys' daily affect

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Abstract

Recent investigations highlighted the role of within-person pubertal changes for adolescents' behavior. Yet, little is known about effects on adolescents' daily affect, particularly regarding the hormonal changes underlying physical changes during puberty. In a study with 148 boys aged 10 to 20 years, we tested whether within-person physical and hormonal changes over eight months predicted everyday affect fluctuations, measured with experience sampling. As expected, greater within-person changes in testosterone (but not in dehydroepiandrosterone) were associated with higher affect fluctuations in daily life. Additionally, greater physical changes predicted higher affect fluctuations for individuals in the beginning of puberty. The findings demonstrate the relevance of physical and hormonal changes in boys' affective (in)stability.

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