Research Methods II
July, 22nd, 2012
Exploring the factors of performance enhancing drugs (PED) used among collegiate athletes, gives sport performance psychology and researchers an opportunity to investigate the multiple factors involved in an athlete’s decision making process. Performance enhancement is a natural and essential element of competitive sports. Except for nutritional supplement contamination, accidental use of taking PED is highly unlikely. Researching the vast array of factors, attitudes, and doping behaviors that users consider when making their choice to use, will help provide informative, in depth literature on exactly which factors play the most prominent role in an athlete choosing to use PED. The seriousness of PED use by athletes is reflected by the recent increase in a global, organized effort to combat doping in sports. Detection of PED use was based on organizational structures and standard operating procedures that were in place to ensure compliance with anti- doping regulations (Houlihan, 2002). Detection relies on testing, which has been increasingly problematic in highly competitive and elite sports. Haugen (2004) argued that the imposition of making testing effective would require the volume of conducted tests and testing sanctions to both be increased significantly, potentially to levels that are practically non-feasible. New technologies that deal with the development of undetectable methods and the detection of new methods of PED have lead to an increase in costs. Also, tests are not available for every banned drug and method. “Providing insight to which factors play the largest role in an athlete’s choice to use, would help suggests ways to create and implement more cost-effective and efficient PED tests for prevention” (Alaranta et al., 2006). The factors can be further evaluated so that more precise, informative information can be presented to athletes at all sporting age levels to help stop PED use. The purpose of this study is to investigate the main factors, attitudes, and behaviors that play a role in athletes deciding to take performance enhancing drugs (PED). Particularly focusing on collegiate football athletes, who have been found to be a strong source of PED use, this study will evaluate different elements to show which factors are the most prominent in leading to an athlete’s decision to use PED. This study will provide insight into the thought process that collegiate athletes have towards using PED, which are currently prohibited in intercollegiate athletics. In such a competitive environment, it is crucial to understand the competitive nature of collegiate athletes and the extent that they will go to in order to reach their maximum athletic potential. Literature Review
PED history in sports has been documented since the Olympics. “The revival of the modern Olympics coincided with the growing interest in measurement, pharmacology and psychology of performance” (Hoberman, 1992). Innovations with PED accelerated through WWII and the Cold War, most famously with the German Olympic teams. Managing PED in sport came to a head after several athletes deaths in the 1960’s, giving rise to the Olympic movement’s anti doping policies that have been implemented and administered ever since. Notable research into PED use in competitive sports included research done by Anshel. Anshel (1991) reviewed a wide range of factors identified through personal interactions with coaches and athletes to provide advice on intervention in PED behaviors based on behavioral and cognitive perspectives. While this was a useful foundation to build testable grounded theory, the nature of the research gives little insight into the underlying psychology of why athletes choose to use PED. A grounded theory based on Anshel’s (1991) work...