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Outline of a typology of men’s use of anabolic androgenic steroids in fitness and strength training environments

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Recent research into the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) in fitness and strength training environments have revealed great variance in users’ approach to AAS use and more specifically their approach to health risks and desired objectives. However, there have only been few attempts to develop theoretical frameworks directed at conceptualising the variance in AAS use. In this paper, we propose a unified framework in the form of a typology, which concerns men’s general approach to AAS use. The typology is based on sociologist Max Weber’s method on the ideal typology. The work comes out of the authors’ own qualitative empirical research on male AAS users in fitness and strength training environments, but is also related to and draws on the international literature on the subject. The suggested typology consists of four ideal types: the Expert type, the Well-being type, the YOLO type and the Athlete type. The four types are developed around two overarching categories, namely users’ approach to risk and effectiveness. The typology outlines distinct and characteristic approaches to AAS use and can, thus, be employed by researchers as well as health professionals as a heuristic tool for investigation and explanation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017

    Research areas

  • ABUSERS, Anabolic androgenic steroids, CONSEQUENCES, CRIME, DEPENDENCE, DRUGS, INSIGHT, Max Weber, NONUSERS, doping, drug education and prevention, fitness and strength training, ideal typology, performance-enhancing drugs, theory development

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