Anabolic–androgenic steroid use and correlates in Norwegian adolescents
Sandvik, Morten Renslo
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This paper surveys the prevalence and correlates of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) use among Norwegian adolescents, and examines the degree to which sports participation is a mediating or moderating factor to well-known correlations between AAS use and problem behaviour. The data come from the “Ungdata” study, a cross-national youth survey system offered to all municipalities in Norway (response rate: 74%, N = 77,572). The study demonstrates a lifetime prevalence of AAS use of 1.27% and a higher prevalence among boys (1.81%) than girls (0.76%). The analyses show that AAS use is clearly related to problem behaviour such as violence and other substance use. When controlling for problem behaviour, there are no correlations between AAS use and exercising in a sports club or on one’s own, whilst there is a weak positive correlation between AAS use and exercising in a gym or engaging in other forms of physical exercise such as dancing or martial arts. These patterns are more or less the same for boys and for girls. We conclude that adolescent AAS use is a low-prevalence phenomenon that primarily takes place in smaller subgroups of individuals who engage in other forms of problem behaviour as well.