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Pediatrics. 1995 Aug;96(2 Pt 1):268-72.

High-risk behaviors among high school students in Massachusetts who use anabolic steroids.

Author information

1
Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the association between the frequency of anabolic steroid use and the frequency of other health risk and problem behaviors among high school students in Massachusetts.

METHODS:

The 1993 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey was conducted on a random sample of 3054 high school students (49% male; mean age, 16 +/- 1.2 years). The frequency of lifetime anabolic steroid use was measured on an ordinal scale from 1 to 6, representing "0" to "40 or more times." Other health risk and problem behaviors measured were sexual behaviors, suicidal behaviors, frequency of not wearing a passenger seat belt, riding a motorcycle, not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, driving after drinking alcohol, riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, fighting, and carrying a weapon. The associations between the frequency of anabolic steroid use and other high-risk behaviors were determined using the Spearman correlation coefficient for ordinal data and the Kruskall-Wallis analysis of variance for categorical data. Representative indicators of each risk behavior significantly associated with anabolic steroid use were then analyzed using a stepwise multiple-regression analysis.

RESULTS:

The frequency of anabolic steroid use was associated with all of the other high-risk behaviors analyzed. Using multiple-regression analysis, driving after drinking alcohol accounted for 12.5% of the variance of the model. Carrying a gun, the number of sexual partners within the past 3 months, not using a condom during last intercourse, injury in a physical fight requiring medical attention, history of a sexually transmitted disease, not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle, not wearing a passenger seatbelt, and a suicide attempt requiring medical attention accounted for an additional 9.0% of the variance. The full model accounted for greater than 21% of the variation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The frequency of anabolic steroid use among adolescents is associated with other high-risk behaviors, thus supporting the hypothesis that anabolic steroid use is part of a "risk behavior syndrome" rather than an isolated behavior. This finding emphasizes the need for comprehensive high-risk behavior screening and counseling among teens who use anabolic steroids.

PMID:
7630682
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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