Hidden patterns behind doping use among Norwegians 18-19 years old
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Original versionJournal of Sports Science 2014, 1(1), 26-36
There is a growing public concern about the increasing use of performance enhancing drugs (doping) in sport, exercise and fitness activities. Research has been carried out to answer the question “Why do exercising young people use performance enhancing drugs?” The explanations of most quantitative researches are based on bivariate statistical analysis. But there are reasons to believe that one factor or motive is not suffice to explain such a complex and stigmatized behaviour. More probably, there may be clusters of psychological and societal, more or less hidden, reasons behind such behaviour. This study uses EFA (exploratory factor analysis) and combines sets of variables, in order to reveal hidden factors or patterns in the empirical data. Our study indicates that this kind of doping use should be interpreted within a social context where youths struggle with their lives, making sense of societal demands and expectations, using the “tools” they find fitting, and make their choices meaningful and functional. In other words, doping has something to do with muscles, self-presentation and meaning trying to build identities in a world where the body is the main symbol of value and morality.