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A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes

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Abstract

Background: There is evidence linking women's testosterone (T) to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary T (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status. Methods: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6–8 (follicular phase), 13–15 (ovulatory phase) and 20–22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1–7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness. Results: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] difference = 0.2–1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p

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Crewther, B. T., & Cook, C. J. (2018). A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes. Physiology and Behavior, 188, 157–161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.02.012

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