Date of Award:

12-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Advisor/Chair:

Julie Gast

Abstract

Adolescents are labeled as sensitive to caffeine, though despite this predisposition, consumption is high among this population. Energy drinks are a current trend in soft-drink-like beverages and are marketed to 11-35 year olds. However, unlike soft drinks, energy drinks are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and therefore do not have to limit their caffeine content. This cross-sectional, correlational study sought to identify the role that knowledge, attitudes, and peers play in adolescent energy drink consumption. Adolescents (n = 199), ages 18 to 21, at a university in the west were surveyed. Descriptive statistics revealed that 25% of the surveyed population reported consuming at least one energy drink in the last 30 days. Using binary logistic regression, it was determined that having seen warning labels on energy drink cans significantly reduced the odds that the participant would consume energy drinks (p < .01). Interestingly, having more negative attitudes toward caffeine increased the odds the individual would consume energy drinks (p < .01). Additionally, the more individuals disagreed that they drank energy drinks with friends, the more likely they were to drink energy drinks (p < .01). Being male significantly increased the odds that the individual would consume energy drinks (p < .01). Moreover, there was a significant interactive effect between having a negative attitude toward caffeine and the fewer friends they had that drank energy drinks, resulting in an increased odds the individual consumed energy drinks (p < .05). Hopefully, the results from this study will contribute to the current energy drink research.

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