Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role

Article Analysis

Hormones play a significant role in people’s behavior, emotional processing, and cognition. Considering the fact that psychological disorders are defined by issues in these domains, clinical psychologists can benefit from learning about the impact of the endocrine system. In their study, Fischer and Ehlert (2019) provided an overview of the available research on the effect of the endocrine system on the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. Thus, hormonal imbalances found in patients have affected the development of mental health disorders of social deficits, depression and anxiety, as well as harmful eating habits.

Review of Research

In their article, the researchers provided a differentiation between the various effects that hormones have on psychological health. These included the effect of endocrinological health on social interaction, cognition, mood, and sexual function, as well as hunger and satiety. The hormone oxytocin has been found to affect social cognition and behavior, which is why it has been the focus of many researchers studying mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (Fischer & Ehlert, 2019). Importantly, there is now up-to-date evidence that the hormone oxytocin can be an etiological factor in autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, oxytocin levels can be used as prognostic tools and a means for monitoring the treatment progress.

In terms of problems with cognition and mood, such hormones as noradrenaline and cortisol have been explored. Importantly, noradrenaline has been shown to affect different areas of psychological functioning, such as cognition, affect, arousal, and perception of pain (Fischer & Ehlert, 2019). For example, among individuals with PTSD, noradrenaline increases anxiety and hyperarousal. In terms of cortisol, its abnormal concentration has been found in individuals with cognitive issues and affective disorders. In PTSD, cortisol has contributed to the re-experiencing of trauma through the retrieval of traumatic memories.

Research evidence has also found that several hormones, such as leptin, insulin, and ghrelin, all of which have been associated with mental health disorders. For example, the increased baseline levels of ghrelin have been shown to facilitate dysfunctional eating behaviors, including hoarding food in anorexia nervosa or binge eating in bulimia nervosa (Fischer & Ehlert, 2019). Besides, increased insulin sensitivity has been found in patients with anorexia nervosa, while individuals diagnosed with bulimia nervosa or binge eating show decreased levels of insulin sensitivity. Therefore, it is essential to have comprehensive knowledge of hormonal imbalances among individuals to have a better understanding of eating disorders.


The research carried out by Fischer and Ehlert (2019) is highly relevant to the topic of physiological psychology because it shows how the physiological processes in the human body affect mental health. The knowledge provided by the authors is essential because mental health issues can come with stigmatization and misunderstanding despite the fact that there may be physiological reasons as to why people experience it. Besides, the knowledge is important because not all mental health components can be accessed through introspection, especially among people who struggle with detecting and reporting the signals of psychological distress. In addition, the measurement of hormone levels in patients can be used as a way to evaluate the outcomes of treatment, thus providing precise physiological interpretations. Overall, the study offers a look into mental health from the biological standpoint and allows for examining different conditions from the standpoint of individuals’ hormonal levels.


Fischer, S., & Ehlert, U. (2019). Psychoneuroendocrinology and clinical psychology. Clinical Psychology in Europe, 1(2), 1-13. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2023, April 14). Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2023, April 14). Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role.

Work Cited

"Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role." PsychologyWriting, 14 Apr. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role'. 14 April.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role." April 14, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role." April 14, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Psychoneuroendocrinology: Hormones and Their Significant Role." April 14, 2023.