Article

Examining the Relationship Between Alcohol-Energy Drink Risk Profiles and High-Risk Drinking Behaviors.

Department of Biobehavioral Health , The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.31). 03/2013; DOI: 10.1111/acer.12102
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The mixing of alcohol and energy drinks (AMEDs) is a trend among college students associated with higher rates of heavy episodic drinking and negative alcohol-related consequences. The goals of this study were to take a person-centered approach to identify distinct risk profiles of college students based on AMED-specific constructs (expectancies, attitudes, and norms) and examine longitudinal associations between AMED use, drinking, and consequences. METHODS: A random sample of incoming freshmen (n = 387, 59% female) completed measures of AMED use, AMED-specific expectancies, attitudes, and normative beliefs, and drinking quantity and alcohol-related consequences. Data were collected at 2 occasions: spring semester of freshmen year and fall semester of sophomore year. RESULTS: Latent profile analysis identified 4 subgroups of individuals: occasional AMED, anti-AMED, pro-AMED, and strong peer influence. Individuals in the pro-AMED group reported the most AMED use, drinking, and consequences. There was a unique association between profile membership and AMED use, even after controlling for drinking. CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlighted the importance of AMED-specific expectancies, attitudes, and norms. The unique association between AMED risk profiles and AMED use suggests AMED use is a distinct behavior that could be targeted by AMED-specific messages included in existing brief interventions for alcohol use.

3 Bookmarks
 · 
208 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Combining alcohol and energy drinks (e.g., Red Bull and vodka) is a significant problem on college campuses. To date, few studies have examined psychosocial constructs specific to alcohol-energy drink cocktail (AmED) consumption that could be amenable to change via prevention efforts targeting this population. The aim of the current study was to examine differences in AmED-specific attitudes, beliefs, normative perceptions among students who report AmED use compared to college student drinkers who consume alcohol only. In addition, these two groups were compared on their intentions to consume AmEDs, actual AmED use, and other drinking outcomes using a longitudinal design. Participants (N = 386, 59% female) completed a web-based survey in the spring of their first year of college and fall of their second year assessing alcohol-energy drink cocktail use, psychosocial decision-making constructs, heavy drinking, and alcohol-related consequences. Findings revealed that combiners of alcohol and energy drinks had more positive attitudes and beliefs about AmED use, higher perceived peer norms, and stronger intentions toward future use. Accordingly, at Time 2, this group reported significantly higher AmED use, along with high-risk drinking and related consequences. The findings reinforce that AmED use is associated with risky drinking practices, and suggest potential targets for change for future prevention efforts.
    Addiction Research and Theory 04/2014; 22(2):91-97. DOI:10.3109/16066359.2013.804510 · 1.03 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Energy drinks are popular beverages that typically include high levels of caffeine and other ingredients such as taurine, or caffeine-containing herbs, such as guarana. While energy drinks are often consumed alone, they are also frequently used as mixers for alcoholic beverages. This review summarizes what is known about the scope of use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, the risks associated with such mixtures, and the objective laboratory data examining how the effects of their consumption differ from consuming alcohol alone. The weight of the evidence reveals that consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks is riskier than consuming alcohol alone and constitutes a public health concern. Consumption of these mixed beverages is frequent, especially in young and underage drinkers, and compared with alcohol alone, their use is associated with elevated rates of binge drinking, impaired driving, risky sexual behavior, and risk of alcohol dependence. Laboratory research (human and animal) has demonstrated that consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks leads to altered subjective states including decreased perceived intoxication, enhanced stimulation, and increased desire to drink/increased drinking compared to consuming alcohol alone. Possible underlying mechanisms explaining these observations are highlighted in this review.
    Nutrition Reviews 10/2014; 72 Suppl 1:98-107. DOI:10.1111/nure.12127 · 5.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With the worldwide consumption of energy drinks increasing in recent years, concerns have been raised both in the scientific community and among the general public about the health effects of these products. Recent studies provide data on consumption patterns in Europe; however, more research is needed to determine the potential for adverse health effects related to the increasing consumption of energy drinks, particularly among young people. A review of the literature was conducted to identify published articles that examined the health risks, consequences, and policies related to energy drink consumption. The health risks associated with energy drink consumption are primarily related to their caffeine content, but more research is needed that evaluates the long-term effects of consuming common energy drink ingredients. The evidence indicating adverse health effects due to the consumption of energy drinks with alcohol is growing. The risks of heavy consumption of energy drinks among young people have largely gone unaddressed and are poised to become a significant public health problem in the future.
    Frontiers in Public Health 01/2014; 2:134. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00134