The affects of precursory steroidal compounds is difficult to determine due to differences in how adolescent bodies process them, but they may have an impact on social behavior similar to steroidal compounds, therefore, use of these substances will be included in this study as well.
A key area of research focused on treatment of the symptoms of depression and aggression caused by steroid use. Effective treatment was achieved through the use of common antidepressants (Schule, et. al, 2003). This is an important body of research, as it provides the guidance counselor with choices in treating students found to be affected by steroid use. Knowing that there are treatment options available through mental health channels will help in the development of treatment strategies for students whose social lives are being negatively influenced by steroid use.
The literature revealed many facets of academic research that will have an impact on the conduct of this research study. For instance, the research will have to consider whether the student has a history of underlying psychological disease, adversity in their lives that may affect their reaction to and successful treatment of steroidal addiction. The literature review revealed that there are many treatment options available for those that develop anabolic steroid addictions. Therefore, if this study does find a connection between anabolic steroid use and disciplinary problems at school, there are many treatment options available for the development of treatment strategies.
The literature review indicated that anabolic steroid use has been studies from many avenues, but there is a considerable lack of knowledge regarding its connection with real-world social problems. The connection between anabolic steroid use and aggression are well-documented, particularly in a research setting. However, this study will apply this knowledge to the real-world, and real social interactions of teens in the school setting.
The hypothesis for this study will stem from the gap discovered in the literature review, regarding a lack of application of theoretical knowledge about anabolic steroid use to a real world academic setting. The independent variable for this study will be whether or not the student uses anabolic steroids. The dependent variable will be the presence of absence of documented disciplinary action by the school. The following hypothesis will demonstrate the connection between the dependent and independent variables.
H1: A significant correlation will be found between students who indicate steroid use and a record including disciplinary action by the local school authority for aggressive or impulsive behavior.
H0: There will be no significant correlation will be found between students who indicate steroid use and a record including disciplinary action by the local school authority for aggressive or impulsive behavior.
This research will be conducted by using a combination of survey and records search through the school system. The general population of students at three local area high schools will be given a survey about their use of steroids and other steroidal precursor substances, such as DHEA and others. The study will also address their participation or non-participation in sports, any outside stressors in their lives and their knowledge of steroids and their affects on the body. The survey will be given to 250 students, with fifty from each school. The sample population will include both males and females in grades 9-12.
The survey will be analyzed using descriptive statistics to gain an overall picture of the sample population. The survey will allow the students to be divided into categories such as user/non-user, sports participant/nonparticipant, high stress/low stress, etc. A records search will be conducted of these students through the school to determine the types and number of disciplinary problems associated with the individual study participants. These totals will be used to determine if high numbers of disciplinary problems are associated with users and/or non-users of steroids. Other categories will be used to help determine if confounding variables exist. The study will use Pearson Product moment to determine if significant correlation exists between steroidal use by adolescents and the tendency towards disciplinary problems.
This study will help guidance counselors and other mental health professionals in the identification of at-risk students for disciplinary problems with the schools. It will also aid in the selection of appropriate interventions for students that demonstrate a connection between steroid use and problems in school. This research is the next logical step in the body of research regarding the use of steroids and adolescents. This study will enhance the body of knowledge by transforming theory into real-world applications.
Fish, L., Goldberg, L., and Spratt, D. (2005). Supplements, Steroid Precursors and Adolescent Heatlh. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 90 (9).
Gober, S, Klein, M., Berger, T., Vindigni, C., and Paul McCabe (2006). Steroids in Adolescence: the Cost of Achieving the Physical Ideal. NASP Communique, 34 (7). Retrieved April 18, 2008 at http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/cq347steroids.aspx.
Goodyer, I. (2002). Social adversity and mental functions in adolescents at high risk of psychopathology, the British Journal of Psychiatry 18, 383-386.
Melloni, R. (2006). Animal Models Show That Anabolic Steroids Flip the Adolescent Brain's Switch for Aggressive Behavior. American Psychological Association. Retrieved April 18, 2008 at http://www.apa.org/releases/steroids0226.html.
Schule, C., di Michele, F., Baghai, T., Romeo, E., Bernardi, G.,…