Athletes’ Beliefs About and Attitudes Towards Taking Banned Performance-Enhancing Substances: A Qualitative Study
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Elite athletes’ beliefs about, and attitudes toward, taking banned performance enhancing substances were explored in 8 focus-group discussions with 57 athletes from 7 different sports. Discussion was initiated by 3 broad open-ended questions pertaining to 3 important themes likely to affect beliefs and attitudes toward banned performance enhancing substances. Thematic content analysis of interview transcripts revealed 9 lower-order themes emerging under the 3 global themes: personal attitudes (reputation and getting caught, health effects, and financial incentives and rewards), social influences (coaches, parents, and medical staff and sport scientists), and control beliefs (i.e., insufficiency of doping testing, resource availability, and sport level and type). Findings provide insight into the beliefs and attitudes that likely underpin motives and intentions to take banned performance-enhancing substances. Results are generally consistent with, and complement, research adopting quantitative approaches based on social– cognitive models examining the beliefs and attitudes linked to taking banned performance-enhancing substances.
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Copyright © 2014 American Psychological Association
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