Effect of short-term use of testosterone enanthate on personality and mood in healthy young males

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Coutts, RA, Rogerson, S, Deakin, GB, Marshall-Gradisnik, SM, Meir, RA, Zhou, S & Weatherby, RP 2006, 'Effect of short-term use of testosterone enanthate on personality and mood in healthy young males', American College of Sport Medicine annual meeting, Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 38, supplement 5, Denver, CO, 31 May -3 June, American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, p. S409.


Supported by notions that supplementation enhances mental, physical and sexual powers steroid users focus on its ability to influence emotional state, and more profoundly shape identity. The notion of anabolic steroid hormone induced changes in biological drive, causing increased anger and hostility is anecdotal but inconclusive.


To quantify the existence of either Personality or Mood effects that may be observed during and following six weeks of the administration of controlled doses of testosterone enanthate.

METHODS: Eighteen males (25±4.0 yrs) were match paired and randomly assigned in a double blind manner to either a testosterone enanthate or placebo group. During a monitored training program subjects were injected once weekly for six weeks: the testosterone enanthate group with 3.5mg.kg-1 and the placebo group with saline. Mood was measured daily using the Brunel Mood Scale. Personality testing was conducted pre and post using the 16PF, with data being combined into primary and global factors. Repeated measures ANOVA analysis was conducted (SPSS 11.0).


An initial investigation of mood plots showed no differences between the groups for anger, depression, tension or confusion. For the testosterone group there were slight increases in Vigour from week 2 and slight reductions in Fatigue apparent immediately. For the Personality factor of Sensitivity, there was a significant time by group effect (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.569, F = 10.59, df = 1,14, p = 0.006). Changes over time for the placebo group were non significant (p = 0.512) with a significant decrease over time for the testosterone group (p = 0.001). For the factor of Dominance (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.751, F = 4.64, df = 1,14, p = 0.049), neither increases over time in the placebo nor decreases over time for the testosterone groups were significant (p = 0.058 and p = 0.378 respectively). For Vigilance Wilks’ Lambda = 0.749, F = 4.69, df = 1,14, p = 0.048, with near significance between the groups at pre with the testosterone group having higher scores (p = 0.055). There was a significant increase in Vigilance over time in the placebo group (p = 0.033), but the decrease in the testosterone group was non significant (p = 0.561).


Significant changes in Sensitivity suggest that this dosage of testosterone enanthate may influence the ability to be empathetic thus reducing sensitivity to other people’s considerations which may be an explanation for apparent aggressive behaviour observed in anabolic steroid users.