Predicting Intentions for Long-Term Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use Among Men: A Covariance Structure Model


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Abstract

Long-term use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs) is associated with both positive and negative effects. The authors examined possible mechanisms by which these effects contribute to AAS satisfaction and predict intentions for future AAS use. Five hundred male AAS users completed an interactive Web-based instrument assessing the psychological and physical effects of AAS use. Covariance structure modeling was used to evaluate both direct and indirect effects of AAS consequences on satisfaction with AASs and intentions for future AAS use. Results suggest that gain in muscle mass and psychological benefits from AAS use uniquely contributed to both AAS satisfaction and intentions for future use. Side effects from AAS use also uniquely contributed to AAS satisfaction, but ancillary drug use was found to partially mediate this relationship, suggesting that the satisfaction of experienced AAS users is enhanced by their mastery of side effects through the use of ancillary drugs. The final model explained 29% of the variance in intentions for future AAS use. Mechanisms for sustained AAS use and implications for intervention and prevention strategies are discussed.

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