Performance Enhancing Drug Usage: The Influence of Adverse Health Effects and Public Embarrassment
B. Andrew Cudmore and Sherry Jensen
Florida Institute of Technology
Journal Title:Journal of Management and Engineering Integration
This research examines the impact of adverse health effects and public embarrassment as deterrents to the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Deterrence theory suggests that potential PED users execute a cost-benefit analysis before engaging in illicit drug use; any increase in perceived costs reduces the likelihood of drug use. In accordance with the deterrence theory, this study finds that social costs (public embarrassment) have a negative impact on attitudes toward PEDs. However, potential health costs, even extreme ones, do not deter amateur athletes from considering PEDs. Rationale is offered for why fear of social disapproval has a larger impact than adverse health outcomes on attitudes of potential PED users. Results provide guidance for the development of marketing communications designed to deter amateur athletes from considering PEDs.