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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990 Jun;81(6):548-50.

Illicit anabolic steroid use: a controlled personality study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.


The illicit use of anabolic steroids for strength and cosmetic reasons appears to be an increasing problem. Although alcohol and drug abuse have been associated with increased risk for personality psychopathology, the personality correlates of illicit anabolic steroid abuse are unknown. To determine whether personality psychopathology is common among anabolic steroid users, we evaluated a series of illicit anabolic steroid users and compared them with a group of age-matched alcoholics and 2 control groups. Anabolic steroid users were found to have increased risk for personality psychopathology compared with community controls. The risk appeared to be partially explained by a group membership effect. Additionally, similar to the alcoholic group, illicit anabolic steroid users also demonstrated significant antisocial traits.

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