Use of anabolic-androgenic steroids in adolescence: winning, looking good or being bad?

Use of anabolic-androgenic steroids in adolescence : winning, looking good or being bad? / Lars Wichstrøm, Willy Pedersen. - (Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 62 (2001) 1 (January); p. 5-13)

  • PMID: 11271964
  • DOI: 10.15288/jsa.2001.62.5


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use among Norwegian adolescents and to contrast three perspectives on AAS use: performance enhancement in sports competition, body image and eating concerns, and AAS-use as belonging to a cluster of problem behaviors.

Method: A nationally representative sample of 8,877 (53.8% female) Norwegian youths (15-22 years of age) were surveyed (response rate 78%). Sports participation included measures of participation in strength sports, participation in competitive sports, strength training and perceived athletic competence. Body image and eating concerns included measures of disordered eating, perceived physical appearance and satisfaction with body parts. Problem behavior was measured by three dimensions of conduct problems (overt destruction, overt nondestruction and covert destruction), illicit drug use and sexual involvement.

Results: Information about AAS was obtained from 8,508 subjects. Lifetime AAS use was 0.8% (1.2% male and 0.6% female), 12-month prevalence was 0.3% and 5.1% had been offered AAS. AAS use did not vary according to sports involvement and demographics. Logistic regression analyses showed that AAS use was associated with such problem behavior as marijuana (cannabis) involvement and overt nondestruction (e.g., aggressive-type conduct problems) and, to some extent, with involvement in power sports and disordered eating. AAS users differed little from those who had been offered but refrained from using AAS, except that they were more likely to be current marijuana users.

Conclusions: Adolescent AAS use seems primarily to be another type of problem behavior and only secondarily is it associated with strength-sport participation and disordered eating.

Original document


Research / Study
1 November 2020
Pedersen, Willy
Wichstrøm, Lars
Other organisations
Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU) - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Norsk institutt for forskning om oppvekst, velferd og aldring (NOVA) - Norwegian Social Research
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S1. Anabolic Agents
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Substance use research
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Scientific article
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Date generated
5 November 2020
Date of last modification
6 November 2020
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