Understanding female collegiate athletes' intentions to consume sports supplements: an application of the theory of planned behavior
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The Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 made safety and efficacy testing of dietary supplements the responsibility of the consumer. Currently, there exists little data on safety and efficacy of supplements, and there is virtually no data regarding safety and efficacy of supplements in individuals under the age of 18 years. Sales indices suggest sports supplement consumption continues to increase among young athletes, and research indicates young athletes have become the key target for marketing. Additionally, pressures to achieve greater athletic performance or an ideal body image are strong motivators for young athletes. These factors create an environment in which adolescents are likely to consume dangerous sports supplements without being aware of risks associated with supplements. This study was conducted as an attempt to understand factors that motivate young athletes to consume sports supplements. The sample for this study consisted of 207 female collegiate athletes participating in basketball, soccer, cross country, volleyball, and swimming during the 2005-2006 NCAA season. A survey instrument containing four scales measured participants'ÃÂÃÂ behavioral intention, attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control regarding the consumption of sports supplements. Behavioral intention, attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) components that, in theory, measure an individual's internal motivations for performance of a behavior. The dependent variable was defined as the intention to consume sports supplements (Behavioral Intention), and attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control were predictor variables. Findings from this study revealed a poor fit for the TPB measurement model. However, the components of the TPB were able to explain 61% of variance in behavioral intention. Additionally, subjective norms were the strongest predictor and perceived behavioral control the weakest. Furthermore, the average female collegiate athlete did not regularly consume sports supplements. Participants claiming to use sports supplements regularly indicated weight loss and gain, fat loss and looking better as primary motivations for consumption. Results indicated the TPB was able to explain a considerable amount of variance in intention to consume sports supplements with body image concerns being primary motivators.
Housman, Jeff Michael (2003). Understanding female collegiate athletes' intentions to consume sports supplements: an application of the theory of planned behavior. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from