Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes towards androgenic anabolic steroids among male adolescents who have used anabolics compared to those who have not.
Design and setting: A cross-sectional survey was performed in the year 2000 in all secondary schools in the county of Halland on the west coast of Sweden.
Participants and measurements: An anonymous multiple-choice questionnaire was distributed to all classes with 14-, 16-, and 18-year-old male adolescents. The response rate was 92.7% (n=4049).
Findings: Those who admitted having used androgenic anabolic steroids differed in several ways from those who had not. Fewer believed androgenic anabolic steroids to be harmful [odds ratio (OR) = 0.15, 95% CI 0.08-0.30] and more believed that girls preferred boys with large muscles (OR = 6.1, 95% CI 3.4-11.0). They trained more often at gyms (OR = 5.6, 95% CI 3.0-10.6), drank more alcohol (OR = 4.2, 95% CI 2.0-9.1), and had used narcotic drugs more often (OR = 15.3, 95% CI 8.5-27.5) than the other male adolescents. More immigrants than native-born adolescents had used anabolics (OR = 4.2, 95% CI 2.2-7.9).
Conclusion: Attitudes towards anabolics differ between users and nonusers. These aspects may be beneficial to focus on as one part of a more complex intervention program in order to change these attitudes and decrease the misuse of androgenic anabolic steroids.