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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name



Health Education

First Advisor

Jeffrey Martin


ABSTRACTPerceptions of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use Over a 20 Year Period By MARIO VASSALLO

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are prevalent in our society and they are not going anyway anytime soon. Illicit anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) use poses a growing public health problem worldwide, with 2.9–4.0 million individuals in the United States alone having used these drugs (Pope & Kanayama, 2014). Why do people use them? Many people believe that individuals use them to get big and strong in the gym. That is true for many individuals, but there is also a population that uses them to enhance their ability in sports. This study looked at 20 former AAS users, from an original study that I conducted back in 2000. Qualitative research was used for this study. It was chosen so more information could be added to the field of anabolic-androgenic steroid research. The ability to really understand and hear what the life is like of someone who used AAS and what their life has been like since they stopped using AAS over 20 years ago is what fueled this study. Many different areas were discussed in the interviews with the 20 participants, with an emphasis focusing on physiological and psychological implications that have occurred since they stopped using AAS 20 years ago. Using semi-structured interviews to conduct the research allowed for endless data to be collected and analyzed. Transcription of each interview produced 4 themes from the interviews as well as fourteen subthemes amongst those 4 themes. The main findings of the study suggest that the perceptions of these 20 former AAS users is that of a positive experience in their life of when they used AAS. The repercussions (both physical and psychological) that they perceive to have arisen since they stopped using AAS 20 plus years ago do not outweigh the positive experience they had while using. Their attempt to justify their AAS use was clear and repetitive throughout the interview and they really were passionate about their AAS experience and what life has been like since stopping.

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