Sociocultural Influences and Muscle Building in Adolescent Boys

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muscularity, adolescent boys, media, peers, parents, steroids, muscle building, sociocultural influences

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Sociocultural influences on the use of muscle-building techniques, particularly food supplement and steroid use, were examined in a sample of 383 middle-school boys. A modified version of the tripartite influence model was evaluated with muscle-building techniques as the dependent variable. Results indicated that media, peer, and parent influences were independently related to the use of muscle-building techniques. Each was also partially mediated by social comparison tendencies. A comparison of boys who used food supplements to build muscles with those who did not indicated differences in peer, parent, and media influences; social comparison tendencies; body esteem; and depression. A comparison of boys who used steroids to build muscles with those who did not use steroids yielded the same differences. Results indicate the importance of considering sociocultural factors in designing prevention programs for boys.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Psychology of Men & Masculinity, v. 6, issue 4, p. 227-239