Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNevada, Las Vegas, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9239
Approve DateApril 8, 2016
Project TitleMcHale, Timothy Sean, U. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV - To aid research on 'Investigating Acute Steroid Hormone Change in Response to Competition among Hong Kong Juvenile Boys,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gray
TIMOTHY McHALE, then a graduate student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, received funding in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Investigating Acute Steroid Hormone Change in Response to Competition among Hong Kong Juvenile Boys,’ supervised by Dr. Peter Gray. Between August – December 2016, pre- and post-saliva samples were collected during 1) a coalitional, high-intensity, physical competition, 2) non-physical, team competition, and 3) an individual, moderately physical, one-on-one competition. The relationship between variable competitive contexts and acute adrenal hormone changes (e.g. testosterone, DHEA, androstenedione, and cortisol) were assessed in a population of Hong Kong children, aged 8 ‘ 11 years. Participants were recruited from Sha Tin and Tai Po districts in Hong Kong. The first study involved 102 boy soccer players competiting in a soccer match against an unknown team of competitors (i.e. out-group condition) and a soccer scrimmage against teammates (i.e. in-group condition). The second study involved a total of 49 boys and girls competing in an in-class, team, math competition. The third study involved 22 boys competing in a table-tennis tournament. Preliminary analyses suggest juveniles may have evolved neuroendocrine mechanisms that differ from adults, such that DHEA and androstenedione, rather than testosterone, acutely rise during coalitional competition. Further, the magnitude of boys’ androstenedione responses appears to increase significantly when competing against out group-competitors. The results from these studies shed novel light into the developmental, culturally contextualized and hormonal bases of human competition and aggression during middle childhood.