Fitness social media is positively associated with the use of performance-enhancing drugs among young men
(1) Bill Crothers Secondary School, (2) Columbia Business Schoolhttps://doi.org/10.59720/23-083
The use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) is at alarmingly high levels. Despite the risks associated with PEDs, young men are turning to these substances in pursuit of the perfect physique. One contributing factor to this pursuit may be the rise of fitness-related social media. The current study is set to examine the relationship between consumption of fitness social media and the intent to use PEDs among men who live in the United States (US) aged 18 to 35. The study also examines whether this relationship is moderated by attitudes toward muscularity. Specifically, we tested two hypotheses: (1) fitness social media positively predicts the intent to use PEDs; and (2) this relationship is stronger for individuals who value muscularity (i.e., idealized muscle size and definition). To that end, we measured usage of fitness social media, attitudes towards muscularity, and intent to use PEDs among 149 young men from the United States. We found that young men who consume fitness social media are more likely to use PEDs, but we did not find that this relationship is moderated by attitudes towards muscularity. These findings highlight the concerning influence fitness social media has on young men’s illicit use of PEDs and can help to inform and guide the development of targeted interventions aimed at preventing the harmful usage of PEDs.
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