Anabolic steroid education and adolescents: Do scare tactics work?

L. Goldberg, R. Bents, E. Bosworth, L. Trevisan, D. L. Elliot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The opinions (level of agreement) of high school varsity football players with regard to reported effects of anabolic steroids were assessed before and after two different education interventions. Lectures and handouts of a balanced education program (potential risks and benefits) were compared with a risks-only (negative or 'scare tactics') presentation, in a controlled manner. Those receiving the balanced review significantly increased their agreement with 5 of 10 targeted adverse effects, while no change occurred for any risks among those taught by the negative intervention. A teaching model that only emphasizes the untoward consequences of anabolic steroids is ineffective, even in the short-term. A balanced education approach can improve understanding of the potential adverse effects of these drugs. Additional strategies may be required to change young athletes' attitudes toward anabolic androgenic steroid use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • adolescents
  • anabolic steroids
  • athletes
  • education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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