Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Youth steroid use is a global problem: this time Ghana
November 25, 2014
Youth steroid use is a global problem: this time Ghana

Attitudes towards use of anabolic–androgenic steroids among Ghanaian high school Students



  • •We investigated prevalence and attitudes towards anabolic steroid (AAS) use in Ghanaian high school students.
  • •Lifetime prevalence of AAS use was 3.8%.
  • •Female gender, parental absence, religiosity, and jogging had significant positive associations with AAS use attitudes.
  • •Participation in martial arts and swimming had significant associations with negative AAS use attitudes.
  • •Nonmedical AAS use should be of concern to Ghanaian authorities.



This study is a pioneering exploration of nonmedical anabolic–androgenic steroid (AAS) use among Ghanaian high school students.


Of 2683 students contacted, 2597 (1412 females) participated in a survey (response rate = 96.8%). Participants (age range = 11–35 years, M = 17.2, SD = 1.4) provided information on demographics, sports participation, and nonmedical AAS use.


The overall lifetime prevalence of use was 3.8% (males = 4.9%, females = 3.1%). Moreover, 18.5% reported having an acquaintance that has used AAS while 6.0% of the sample had previously been offered AAS. However, none of the AAS users provided a valid name of the AAS they had used. Use and intent to use AAS was also significantly higher among males, teenagers (versus over 19-year-olds), athletes (versus recreational sportspeople, and nonathletes), and participants in ball games (versus other sports). Female gender, parental absence, religiosity, and participation in jogging had significant positive association with AAS use attitudes whereas participation in martial arts, and swimming had significant negative association with AAS use attitudes.


The high prevalence of use and intent to use AAS among Ghanaian high school students should be of concern to authorities.