A qualitative study of the motivations for Anabolic-androgenic steroid use: the role of Muscle Dysmorphia and Self-esteem in Long-term users

Greenway, Charlotte W and Price, Clare (2018) A qualitative study of the motivations for Anabolic-androgenic steroid use: the role of Muscle Dysmorphia and Self-esteem in Long-term users. Performance Enhancement & Health, 6 (1). pp. 12-20. ISSN 2211-2669

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Abstract

Background: The use of Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) among the non-competitive weightlifting community has increased considerably in the UK in recent years, presenting a public health issue. The motives behind use have received considerable attention, with motivations linked to body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and more recently, muscle dysmorphia (MD). However, the causal roles of MD and self-esteem in AAS use remain unclear. Therefore, this paper examines the origins and changes to motivations in long-term users. Methods: A qualitative study recruited eight male weightlifters from a needle exchange programme in South Wales, UK. Participants were interviewed about their initial introduction to AAS and their motivations for initial and continued use. Results: The interview data confirmed the importance of the training community in providing advice and guidance on AAS. Those interviewed cited some motivations for use which included self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, MD, social acceptance, and age-related concerns. Implicit in these motivations was a psychological addiction to the positive effects following AAS use, which for some men, had led to psychological dependency and body image pathology. Conclusions: The changes in motivations described by the AAS users provide key insights into the complex nature of AAS use. For some men, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and MD precede AAS use, and for others, they are consequences of use. These findings have significant implications for future research and public health initiatives.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anabolic-androgenic steroids, Weightlifting community, Body dissatisfaction, Low self-esteem, Muscle dysmorphia
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Yr Athrofa – the Institute of Education
Depositing User: Charlotte Greenway
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2018 14:11
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2019 16:14
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/949

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