Youth sport and performance enhancing substances


Formal title

Healthy performance environments in youth sports


The purpose of this study is to gain insight into what experiences young athletes have with performance-enhancing substances and how they construct their understandings. Young athletes are on the springboard both into adult life, as well as a potential elite sport life. They are in a phase where identity and values are particularly formed in interaction with peers, coaches, parents and other social forces. These conditions make them particularly vulnerable to pressure and influence, and they are therefore interesting to study in more detail in this formative phase.


The study uses qualitative methods, interviews and participatory observation, to explore the practitioners' own descriptions of how they understand performance-enhancing substances. Qualitative methods are well suited as we want to interpret experiences, opinions and motives in light of the social context of which they are part. In addition to empirical studies, a literature study is conducted. This gives us a good overview of what has been done and what we know about young athletes and performance-enhancing substances.