OBJECTIVE: In an effort to begin to construct a psychological profile of
anabolic steroid users, the authors compared weight lifters and
bodybuilders who did or did not use anabolic steroids on an objective
measure of narcissism and on clinical ratings of empathy. METHOD: The
subjects were 16 weight lifters and bodybuilders who reported that they had
used anabolic steroids within the past year and a comparison group of 20
weight lifters who had not used steroids. The Narcissistic Personality
Inventory and clinical ratings of empathy were used to assess narcissism.
RESULTS: Steroid users had significantly higher scores on dimensions of
pathological narcissism and significantly lower scores on clinical ratings
of empathy. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results document a relationship
between anabolic steroid use and narcissistic personality traits. They also
indicate the need for further research to determine whether narcissistic
personality traits contribute to the initiation of anabolic steroid use or
result from their use.