Alcohol and Energy Drink Use, Expectancies and Sexual Risk Taking

Miller | Dermen | Lucke
This study assessed the use of caffeinated energy drinks by U.S. adolescents and young adults (age 13-25) and examined links between sexual risk-taking and the use of energy drinks mixed with alcohol.

Energy drink (ED) use, particularly when mixed with alcohol (AED), is a rapidly emerging but understudied phenomenon that has been linked with both problem drinking and unsafe sexual activity. This study recruited a longitudinal survey sample of 3,000 U.S. youth aged 13-25 in order to (1) provide the first detailed, nationally representative descriptive portrait of ED and AED use in adolescents and emerging adults, (2) examine event-level and prospective relationships among AED use, AED expectancies, and sexual risk-taking, and (3) assess the role of gender in moderating those links. The study fostered a theoretically coherent and empirically sound basis for understanding the relationships among these potentially health-compromising behaviors. We expect that the findings will inform the future development of more effective screening, intervention, and regulatory strategies for reducing AED-related risky sexual activity. 

Principal Investigator
Kathleen Miller, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Kurt Dermen, PhD

Research Institute on Addictions

Joseph Lucke, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Funding Agency
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Grant Number