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The use of ergogenic aids is common in sport, even among preadolescent athletes (8,15,25). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between preadolescents’ use of nutritional ergogenic aids (creatine and amino acids) and gender, age, athletic participation, and sport-relevant psychological factors (i.e., sport success motivation, task and ego orientation, self-efficacy). Two thousand four hundred fifty 11- to 13-year-old children participated in this study. Results suggest that substance use increases with age, especially among male preadolescents; that gender differences are particularly marked among older preadolescents; and that a high commitment to sport training represents a risk factor of ergogenic supplementation only when it is linked to certain psychological dispositions, such as a high ego orientation and a low task orientation.
Pesce, Cereatti, and Zelli are with the University Institute of Motor Sciences, Piazza L. De Bosis, 15-00194 Rome, Italy. Donati and Magrì are with the Italian National Olympic Committee, Rome, Italy. Giampietro is with University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. Monacelli is with the Town Council of Rome, Italy.