Gender moderates the relationship between testosterone and marital interaction

Catherine L. Cohan, Alan Booth, Douglas A. Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Higher testosterone levels are related to assertiveness and dominance. Given the relevance of those behavioral correlates to spouses' daily transactions, links between testosterone levels and marital interaction were explored among 92 newlywed couples. Marital problem-solving and social support transactions were assessed, and saliva was collected and assayed for testosterone. Whether marital behavior was related to husbands' and wives' testosterone levels was examined. The link between spouses' testosterone and their behavior was contingent on the partner's testosterone levels. Husbands exhibited more adaptive problem-solving behaviors and social support provision when husbands and wives were concordant for lower testosterone levels. In contrast, wives exhibited more adaptive support provision when spouses had discordant testosterone levels such that wives had higher levels and husbands had lower levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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