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Withdrawal from anabolic androgenic steroids does not affect personality characteristics

Journal article
Authors Ann-Sophie Lindqvist Bagge
Lundholm Lena
Christer Ehrenborg
Bengt O Eriksson
Tommy Moberg
Thord Rosén
Claudia Fahlke
Published in Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Volume 4
Issue 4
Pages Article ID 1000245
ISSN 2329-6488
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Department of Social Work
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages Article ID 1000245
Language en
Keywords Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
Subject categories Psychology


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) and personality characteristics with the following research questions: 1) Do personality characteristics differ between AAS-abusers and an AAS-naïve comparison group? 2) Do personality characteristics differ between active AASabusers and former AAS-abusers? 3) Does time of withdrawal from AAS affect personality characteristics? Design: Retrospective observational study. Methods: Sixty men (active n=20, former n=40) seeking medical consultation for their AAS abuse were included in the study. Personality characteristics were assessed by the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) inventory. Comparisons were made with an age- and gender-matched group of AAS-naïve body-builders (n=30). Results: AAS-abusers differed significantly in their personality characteristics from the AAS-naïve control group. No major differences were found between active and former AAS-abusers. No correlations were found between personality characteristics and time of withdrawal or duration of AAS abuse. Conclusions: Individuals with AAS abuse differ in their personality characteristics from those who have never used AAS. Withdrawal from AAS does not, however, alter personality characteristic in AAS-abusers, although the causality of this relationship is unclear, indirectly stating that AAS do not seem to alter personality characteristics in a major fashion. On the other hand, it could be argued that AAS gives a more permanent change on personality that is not affected by time of withdrawal from AAS. Thus, the present results do not explain the causality of the relationship between AAS abuse and personality characteristics and further studies are needed in order to clarify this relationship.

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