Anabolic Steroid and Performance Enhancing Multiple Chapters

Pages: 10 (3144 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Sports

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High school athletes already realize the health risks that they are taking and now teachers and students are being made aware of the issues (Liberatore, 2009). However, mandatory drug testing has still not been instituted by most states (only now being done in New Jersey (Sysol, 2008) and is not a consideration as yet on the federal level. Although studies have demonstrated that high school athletes continue to use these drugs to artificially enhance their play, the issue of mandatory testing remains in its infancy (Sysol, 2008).

Methodology

The following study was conducted using survey research in which high school athletes from one school district were asked to evaluate their known and suspected knowledge of high school anabolic steroid and PED use. 613 athletes completed the question survey. The use of athletes was meant to give a more accurate representation of how many students were actively using the substances or were suspected of use by their fellow athletes.

The questions themselves were given to the athletes by their coaches, and the athletes, all of whom participated, were given the option to not take the survey. The high school participants were between the ages of 14 and 19, with the bulk being from 15 to 18 years of age. The students were not asked to place their names on the surveys, and they were simply numbered t protect the identity of the students and give their responses appropriate anonymity. The students played a variety of sports, with the football and wrestling teams having by far the most athletes.

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The data was analyzed using mainly a raw data approach, which looked took a simple look at the responses given, and a Chi Square test which analyzed the relative difference between the people who said that they had done steroids or other performance enhancing substance (whether legal or illegal), and the guess from fellow students regarding what the response would be. The questions used for the Chi Square test were numbers 6,7,8 and 15.

Results

Multiple Chapters on Anabolic Steroid and Performance Enhancing Assignment

The results of the survey are interesting because they do not coincide with the self-report data collected by Green (2007). The researcher in this case found that roughly 1% of high school athletes, for whatever reason, would admit to using anabolic steroids. In the present study the number was exactly the same. Approximately 13.7% of the athletes (84 of 613) admitted to using illicit drugs. This result was not expected given the nature of the use and the fact that a student would be dismissed from the team he or she was on and could possibly be charged with a crime. This use is also not concurrent with that found in the testing conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Denham (2006). This was not expected since the CDC study used actual testing methods, although the samples were kept anonymous to protect the identity of the students, instead of self-report methods (Denham, 2006). Therefore, the accuracy of this information is in question, and it is a quandary why these students admitted to a greater degree of use than had been found in previous instances of self-report and in studies in which testing is used.

Besides the actual report that the students gave in the surveys, a Chi Square distribution test was used to determine if there is a reason to suspect that the data between what students suspected and what was actually reported was different. The students who had used anabolic steroid use at a 13.7% rate; other students guessed that the actual rate, from what they had observed and heard of, would be approximately the same as the self-report data assumed by Green (2007). The students, as a whole believed there would be about 1.8% students who actually used some form of PED. This finding does not coincide with the data from the self-reported use which shows up in the Chi Square analysis. This shows that there is no confidence in the result reported. Usually a 95% confidence level is used, and this result showed that the researcher cannot be confident in the reports of the athletes who said that they had done steroids based on the responses of their peers since 84 of 613 said that they had done steroids at least once, and their peers believed the actual number would be approximately 16 of 613.

Other questions in the survey could not be tested for statistical accuracy, but will be an interesting study in the summary section of the report.

Summary

The self-report data, as has been suggested several times, is difficult to use because it is often very inaccurate. This can be seen in one of two ways. First, most of the time people will try to appear better than they are and skew the date toward a positive result. This happens often when people are asked questions regarding drug use and they respond that they do not use drugs even when statistics would show that some of the people reporting their use have to be telling an untruth. The other issue can be that, because of peer pressure or some other issue, the opposite is occurring. That is what seemed to happen in this survey. It would be expected that students would report less than the 5% to 6% use that is suspected to be the case because of data using actual blood tests to determine levels of use. This had previously been found to be the case in the Green (2007) data, and was backed by the use suspected by the students at this school. However, reported data in this case was more than twice what the actual data said it would be if the subjects were all tested, and approximately ten times more than earlier data that had been gathered. There are two possible answers to this dilemma. Either the students at this school exhibit a much greater anabolic steroid and PED use than has been found to be the case in the past, or they are not being accurate in their reporting and skewing it in the opposite direction. The reason for this second conjecture could be that there are those among the athletes who think it is "cool" to use the banned substances, so they are using peer pressure as a positive self-report technique. This could be the case, especially among those who are engaged in the more macho sports such as football and wrestling (which comprise 30% of all athletes). It seems that this data has been abnormally skewed to a great degree and would need further research. A new survey, and a new methodology may be needed to determine the truth of this matter. If by testing or some other method it is found that the count is relatively accurate, then this school definitely needs an education and a mandatory testing program.

Several other questions asked students to give their views as to the use of steroids and whether they would use them if a college scholarship was involved. Not surprisingly, almost 75% of the athletes (457/613) said that this was okay. This is not a surprise because previous studies have found that up to 95% of college and Olympic athletes said that they would use some fore of PED if it was legal (Talpalde, et al., 2008). Athletes, because they are generally younger when they are competitive, believe that they will not be afflicted with the negative results attributed to steroid use. Probably because they are athletes they are even more inclined to believe that they will not get sick, so the steroid use will not affect them. Of course, this is false hope in a body that is very susceptible to the negative effects of steroids. However, it is difficult to convince teenagers that they will very likely have negative health consequences if they use PEDs. The athletes seem to be more likely to listen to the ethical, fairness related arguments than to the health-related arguments. This shows the difference between younger and older respondents to these types of questions.

One surprising finding from the surveys that needs to be corrected quickly is that most students, even though they have a drug testing policy in place at their schools, have never been drug tested. This means that the schools are trying to educate students, and probably having regular talks with them regarding the dangers of the substances, but that they are not following that up with random drug testing. Although not many states have mandatory drug testing policies, that does not mean that an individual district cannot have one. Especially because these results show a large actual use, these athletes need to be tested for their own health.

The issue of steroid and PED use should not be one of fairness, but one of health. The fairness issue is very temporary, but the health issues can be permanent. Students need to be made to realize that their life-long health could be compromised because of this issue. New programs need… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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