Social validation: a motivational theory of doping in an online bodybuilding community

Hutchinson, Brendan, Moston, Stephen, and Engelberg, Terry (2018) Social validation: a motivational theory of doping in an online bodybuilding community. Sport in Society, 21 (2). pp. 260-282.

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Doping research has predominantly been framed through an ethical lens, implicitly restricted to the realms of elite sport. Despite increasing anecdotal evidence of growing prevalence rates amongst recreational athletes, such as bodybuilders, these populations have largely been neglected within psychological research. This study aims to develop a theoretical framework relevant to these athletes. Data were collected over a five-month period from an online community forum dedicated to recreational bodybuilders. Purposive sampling was used to gather 118 webpages of doping-related discussion, which were qualitatively analysed using grounded theory applying Strauss's coding paradigm. Inductive categories were integrated into a motivational framework that related recreational doping to social validation. Categories included the online community's rite of passage, normative-inferences that facilitated doping, and deterrence factors related to fear of perceived health risks. Findings demonstrate that, for recreational bodybuilders, psychosocial processes are significantly related to doping motives, and that health factors are primary doping deterrents.

Item ID: 41295
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1743-0445
Keywords: doping; social validation; bodybuilding; WADA; sport
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This work has also been published in Skinner, James, and Engelberg, Terry (2018) Research Methodologies for Sport Scholarship. Sport in the Global Society: contemporary perspectives . Routledge, Abingdon, UK and is available through ResearchOnline at the related URL.

Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 01:48
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520107 Sport and exercise psychology @ 80%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320225 Sports medicine @ 20%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950103 Recreation @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports @ 50%
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