Investigating associations between caffeinated beverage consumption and later alcohol consumption among early adolescents

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Previous research has demonstrated that caffeinated beverage consumption predicts alcohol consumption among early adolescents. This study aimed to investigate this association in two ways: (1) by examining if this association remained significant once other established risk factors for alcohol were adjusted for statistically; and (2) by considering three possible moderators of this association: gender, sensation-seeking, and parental monitoring. Data from the Camden Youth Development Study, a longitudinal, community-based study of middle-school students, were used. Youth were initially assessed in 6th and 7th grade and followed-up 16 months later. Self-reports of frequency of energy drink, coffee, and alcohol consumption, as well as sensation-seeking, perceived peer and best friend alcohol use, alcohol expectancies, and parental monitoring, were used. Results indicated that both energy drink and coffee consumption predicted later alcohol consumption, even after adjusting for other risk factors for alcohol consumption. Parental monitoring was a significant moderator of this link, such that youth who consumed energy drinks and reported low parental monitoring were particularly at risk for later alcohol consumption. These findings indicate that the link between earlier caffeine consumption and later alcohol consumption is not simply due to the co-occurrence of caffeine consumption with other risk factors for alcohol use. In addition, risk associated with early energy drink consumption appears to be particularly pronounced for youth in families characterized by low parental monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks


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