Health beliefs as a key determinant of intent to use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) among high-school football players: implications for prevention
The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) is problematic for youth because of negative effects such as reduced fertility, increased aggression and exposure to toxic chemicals. An effective programme for addressing this problem is Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS). This secondary analysis expands prior research by identifying prominent mechanisms of change and highlighting key longitudinal processes that contributed to the success of ATLAS. The current sample consists of highschool football players (N = 1.068; M age = 15.25) who began ATLAS in grades nine through eleven and participated in booster sessions for two years postbaseline. Knowledge of AAS effects, belief in media ads, reasons not to use AAS, perceived severity of and susceptibility to AAS effects and ability to resist drug offers were critical mediators of the relations between ATLAS and outcomes. Modern applications of the ATLAS programme are also discussed.