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Characteristics, attitudes and normative factors of anabolic steroid use among college -aged males and females: An application of the theory of reasoned action

Joseph Michael Berning, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Using anabolic-androgenic steroids to improve athletic performance and enhance physical appearance appears to be increasing among college students. To implement anabolic-androgenic steroid prevention programs, health educators must understand the characteristics, attitudes and norms associated with anabolic steroid use. This study investigated the characteristics of anabolic-androgenic steroid use and employed the Theory of Reasoned Action to understand the attitudes and normative beliefs of college-aged male and female anabolic-androgenic steroid users. ^ A survey was conducted of 485 undergraduate college-aged males and females at a midwestern university. Results showed that 9% [n = 42 (m = 37, f = 5)] used anabolic steroids. Of users, 7% were freshman, 31% sophomores, 26% juniors and 36% seniors. Forty three percent of users and non-users indicated they knew one or more other students who used anabolic steroids. Seventy-six percent of users and 36% of non-users suggested they could obtain anabolic-androgenic steroids within two weeks or less. ^ Analysis showed a significant correlation (r = .690, p < .001) between anabolic-androgenic steroid users and non-users behavioral intention and actual use or non-use. Regression analysis showed global attitudes and subjective norms were significant predictors of behavioral intention to use or not use anabolic-androgenic steroids. Similarly, sums of the constructs of attitudes and subjective norms were significant (p < .05) predictors of behavioral intentions to use or not use anabolic-androgenic steroids. Evaluations of individual constructs of attitudes and subjective norms showed that behavioral beliefs, evaluation of beliefs, and norms between groups were significantly different (p < .05). However, groups were not significantly different in their motivation to comply with significant others. This study showed health education programs should emphasize the value of health and the consequences of using anabolic-androgenic steroids to college students throughout their college career. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Education, Health

Recommended Citation

Berning, Joseph Michael, "Characteristics, attitudes and normative factors of anabolic steroid use among college -aged males and females: An application of the theory of reasoned action" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092528.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3092528

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