Intervention and prevention of steroid use in adolescents

D. Elliott, Linn Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Athletes with a higher intent to use anabolic steroids were similar to students who indicated no predisposition to use steroids on economic, academic, and physical measures. They had similar understandings of anabolic steroid effects, and their self-rated understandings of how to weight train and of sports nutrition were similar. In addition, the influence of the coaches and the media and the perceived prevalence of anabolic steroid use were not different between the higher- and lower-intent students. These results demonstrated several significant differences. Higher-intent students had higher levels of alcohol and marijuana use, which suggest that those items might be tackled concurrently. These athletes had higher hostility, impulsivity, and a win-at-all-costs attitude. Despite similar physical measures, they had a high body image, but were less satisfied with their current weight. These findings underscored the importance of using nutrition and appropriate training as effective alternatives to anabolic steroids. Higher-intent students had greater peer tolerance of drug use and less parental influence not to use drugs, which implies that a peer-led small group format might be important to dispel the perceived peer tolerance. Including a parent-based component, one that emphasizes a disapproval of drug use also could be effective. Higher-intent athletes had less ability to refuse an offer of steroids. The dynamics of turning down steroids may differ from that of other illicit substances so that training in refusal skills specific to steroids is needed. These differences provide a needs assessment to identify curricular components for an intervention to prevent anabolic steroid use. The sports team may be a unique educational setting because it can capitalize on peer ties, the coach's influence, and an athletes' motivation to improve, to prevent drug use, and to promote healthy behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S46-S47
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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