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Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2018 Apr;62(5):1384-1410. doi: 10.1177/0306624X16680043. Epub 2017 May 22.

Doping Among Professional Athletes in Iran: A Test of Akers's Social Learning Theory.

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1 University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.
2 University of South Florida, Tampa, USA.
3 University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran.


The use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) is common among Iranian professional athletes. As this phenomenon is a social problem, the main purpose of this research is to explain why athletes engage in "doping" activity, using social learning theory. For this purpose, a sample of 589 professional athletes from Rasht, Iran, was used to test assumptions related to social learning theory. The results showed that there are positive and significant relationships between the components of social learning theory (differential association, differential reinforcement, imitation, and definitions) and doping behavior (past, present, and future use of PED). The structural modeling analysis indicated that the components of social learning theory accounts for 36% of the variance in past doping behavior, 35% of the variance in current doping behavior, and 32% of the variance in future use of PED.


PED use; doping activity; professional athletes; social learning theory

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