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Understanding Adolescent Caffeine Use (Article Sample)

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Understanding Adolescent Caffeine Use:
Connecting Use Patterns with Expectancies,
Reasons, and Sleep
Alison Bryant Ludden, PhD
Amy R. Wolfson, PhD
Little is known about adolescents’ caffeine use, yet caffeinated soda, and more recently coffee and energy
drinks, are part of youth culture. This study examines adolescents’ caffeine use and, using cluster analysis,
identifies three groups of caffeine users who differed in their reasons for use, expectancies, and sleep behav-
iors. In this high school student sample (N = 197), 95% of participants reported recent caffeine use—most
often soda—where typical first use of the day was in the evening. Results reveal that adolescents in the mixed
use and high soda use groups consumed similar amounts of soda, reporting significantly more use than the
low caffeine use group. In contrast with high soda users, mixed users drank more coffee, expected more
dependence symptoms and energy enhancement from caffeine, and were more likely to report getting up
early, daytime sleepiness, and using caffeine to get through the day.
Keywords: caffeine use; soda; coffee; energy drinks; expectancies; sleep; cluster analysis

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Content:

SUMMARY FOR UNDERSTANDING ADOLESCENT CAFFEINE USE: CONNECTING USE PATTERNS WITH EXPECTANCIES, REASON AND SLEEP
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Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u MAIN PURPOSE OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc11093687 \h 3MAIN FINDINGS PAGEREF _Toc11093688 \h 3REAL LIFE IMPLICATIONS PAGEREF _Toc11093689 \h 4RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT PAGEREF _Toc11093690 \h 4REFERENCES PAGEREF _Toc11093691 \h 4
MAIN PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Little has been done to examine adolescent use, mood and attitude on caffeine use (Ludden & Wolfson, 2010, p.330). This necessitated for a study assessing this group’s use of caffeine. Therefore, the current study was carried out with an objective of assessing high school students’ use of caffeine and patterns they adopt with respect to expectances, reason and sleep ((Ludden & Wolfson, 2010, p.331). To achieve this, the researcher assessed frequency of use, timing and type of caffeinated product used. Then using cluster analysis assessed the pattern of use ((Ludden & Wolfson, 2010, p.332).
MAIN FINDINGS
The study reported a high number of respondents using caffeine in the last 2 days (68%). Out of which a high number used caffeine a day before the survey (86%). Caffeinated soda and coffee drink were found to statistically influence the time of use ((Ludden & Wolfson, 2010, p. 334) with caffeinated drink being the highly used (60.5%). It was also reported that 95% of the respondents used caffeinated product within a span of two weeks. In addition, males were found to use caffeine products more compared to female and the difference was significant at 5%. Also, students that used most of the caffeine products were in 9th grade and females were found to have more expectances than males. In addition, females were found to be more affected by appetite suppression. However, the reasons of uses was not statistically different among female and males. Similarly, no reason difference was found among students of different grades.
For the caffeine use pattern, there were three major groups that were identified and most of the respondents lied in the high caffeine use group (37%). It was realised that there existed a significant difference in caffeine use among the three groups where persons in the high and mixed group were found to have used significantly higher level of caffeine in the last two weeks. In addition, the mixed group was found to have used significantly higher caffeine in the last one day compared to other groups.
It was found that the mixed group reported higher expectances, higher mood and energy changes, appetite suppression and performance enhancement compared to the other groups. In addition, they were more likely to have “getting through the day” as their major reason of using caffeine products. Also they were more likely to report that they used caffeine for enjoyment as compared to the high caffeine group ((Ludden & Wolfson, 2010, p.335). With regards to the sleep patterns, students in the mixed group got up earlier and got more daytime sleepiness as compared to the other groups.
REAL LIFE IMPLICATIONS
Research has shown that caffeine use influences anxiety and dependency among adults ((Ludden & Wolfson, 2010, p.330). It has also been linked to depr

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