• Article

Psychological predictors of anabolic steroid use: An exploratory study

This study examined social physique anxiety, upper body esteem, social anxiety, and body dissatisfaction as possible predictors of anabolic steroid (AS) use. Data were collected from 185 AS-using bodybuilders, non-using bodybuilders, athletically active exercisers, and non-exercising individuals. A polychotomous logistic regression technique was used to examine which variables were associated with AS use. Results indicate that the Upper Body Strength subscale of the Body Esteem Scale, the Body Dissatisfaction Index of the Eating Disorder Inventory, and age were the most significant predictors of AS use in this population. As each of these variables increases (i.e., upper body strength esteem, body dissatisfaction, and age), the probability of being an AS user increases. Results suggest the importance of psychosocial factors in understanding anabolic steroid use; further discussion involves the necessity of considering multiple reinforcers in predicting behavior.


Schwerin, M., Corcoran, KJ., LaFleur, BJ., Fisher, L., Patterson, D., & Olrich, T. (1997). Psychological predictors of anabolic steroid use: An exploratory study. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 6(2), 57-68. https://doi.org/10.1300/J029v06n02_05

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