Narcissism and empathy in steroid users

Narcissism and empathy in steroid users / John H. Porcerelli, Bruce A. Sandler. - (American Journal of Psychiatry 152 (1995) 11 (November); p. 1672-1674)

  • PMID: 7485634
  • DOI: 10.1176/ajp.152.11.1672


Objective: In an effort to begin to construct a psychological profile of anabolic steroid users, the authors compared weight lifters and bodybuilders who did or did not use anabolic steroids on an objective measure of narcissism and on clinical ratings of empathy.

Method: The subjects were 16 weight lifters and bodybuilders who reported that they had used anabolic steroids within the past year and a comparison group of 20 weight lifters who had not used steroids. The Narcissistic Personality Inventory and clinical ratings of empathy were used to assess narcissism.

Results: Steroid users had significantly higher scores on dimensions of pathological narcissism and significantly lower scores on clinical ratings of empathy.

Conclusions: These preliminary results document a relationship between anabolic steroid use and narcissistic personality traits. They also indicate the need for further research to determine whether narcissistic personality traits contribute to the initiation of anabolic steroid use or result from their use.

Original document


Research / Study
1 April 2006
Porcerelli, John H.
Sandler, Bruce A.
United States of America
Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) - International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness
Weightlifting (IWF) - International Weightlifting Federation
Other organisations
Detroit Psychiatric Institute
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Medical terms
Health effects
Psychiatric disorders
Substance use research
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
18 September 2012
Date of last modification
6 December 2021
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