Undergraduate Men's Use of Performance- and Appearance-Enhancing Substances: an Examination of the Gateway Hypothesis

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The Gateway Hypothesis was examined with respect to appearance- and performance-enhancing substance use. Various sociocultural influences on substance use were also included in the analysis to determine whether prior substance use predicts current use, even in the context of other relevant predictors. Age of first protein use (M = 16.64 years) preceded first creatine use (M = 17.19), which in turn preceded first use of Androstenedione (M = 17.90) and Anabolic Steroids (M = 20.00). A series of hierarchical logistic regression analyses revealed that the strongest predictor of current illicit substance use was previous use of legal performance-enhancing substances, although sociocultural variables were significant predictors in each analysis. This study highlights the importance of integrating theories of sociocultural influence with the Gateway Hypothesis to identify individuals at risk of using unhealthy and illegal forms of performance and appearance enhancing substances © 2012 American Psychological Association.

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