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Horm Behav. 1996 Jun;30(2):170-5.

Personality profile of men using anabolic androgenic steroids.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Göteborg University, Sweden.


The present study assessed personality traits in three groups of strength athletes, who self-administered anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) at the time of testing, had stopped using AAS since at least 6 months, or had never used AAS. The subjects (n = 14/group) completed the Karolinska Scales of Personality, an inventory consisting of 15 subscales measuring traits related to anxiety proneness, extraversion, and aggression-hostility. Current AAS users differed significantly from the other two groups with respect to Verbal aggression. In comparison to subjects with no ongoing AAS exposure (i.e., previous AAS users and drug-free controls), AAS users were also significantly different with respect to Muscular tension, Social desirability, Impulsiveness, and Indirect aggression. On several subscales, the scores of the AAS users were clearly outside the normal range observed in general population. The present results confirm earlier studies that AAS use is associated with enhanced aggressiveness. Our study also suggests that self-administration of AAS might pave the way for disinhibitory psychopathology by amplifying extraversion-related risk factors.

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