University Of Tasmania
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Anabolic steroid use and body image psychopathology in men: Delineating between appearance- versus performance-driven motivations

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 06:06 authored by Murray, SB, Griffiths, S, Jon MondJon Mond, Kean, J, Blashill, AJ

Objective: Anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) use has been robustly associated with negative body image, and eating- and muscularity-oriented psychopathology. However, with AAS being increasingly utilized for both appearance and athletic performance-related purposes, we investigated whether comorbid body image psychopathology varies as a function of motivation for usage.

Method: Self-reported motivation for current and initial AAS use was recorded amongst 122 AAS using males, alongside measures of current disordered eating and muscle dysmorphia psychopathology.

Results: Those reporting AAS for appearance purposes reported greater overall eating disorder psychopathology, F(2, 118) = 7.45, p = 0.001, p 2 = 0.11, and muscle dysmorphia psychopathology, F(2, 118) = 7.22, p < 0.001, p 2 = 0.11, than those using AAS primarily for performance purposes. Additionally, greater dietary restraint, F(2, 116) = 3.61, p =0.030, p 2 = 0.06, functional impairment, F(2, 118) = 3.26, p = 0.042, p 2 = 0.05, and drive for size, F(2, 118) = 10.76, p <0.001, p 2 = 0.15, was demonstrated in those using ASS for appearance purposes.

Discussion: Motivation for AAS use may be important in accounting for differential profiles of body image psychopathology amongst users. Men whose AAS use is driven primarily by appearance-related concerns may be a particularly dysfunctional subgroup.


Publication title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence








School of Health Sciences


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Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

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