Tuesday, Sept 30, 2008
Anti-social behaviour may be a form of mental illness, research suggests.
Scientists at Cambridge University believe a reduced level of the stress hormone cortisol could be linked to adolescent males becoming unruly.
They said cortisol usually increases when people undergo the anxiety of experiences such as public speaking, sitting an exam or having surgery.
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The hormone enhances memory formation and is thought to help people behave more cautiously and regulate their emotions, particularly their temper and violent impulses, the scientists said.
The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, showed that disruptive male youths did not produce the same increase in cortisol when placed in a stressful situation.