Online Program

Mixing alcohol with energy drinks: Using the theory of planned behavior to examine its use among undergraduate students

Monday, November 4, 2013

Supriya G. Reddy, PhD, MPH, College of Health, Exercise and Sport Science, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, NC
Stuart Usdan, PhD, Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Jen Nickelson, PhD, RD, Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
James Leeper, PhD, College of Community Health Sciences / Department of Community & Rural Medicine, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Joseph Schumacher, PhD, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Purpose: This study examined Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) constructs as correlates of the consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) among undergraduates.

Methods: Undergraduate students aged 18-24 were recruited from a Southeastern university in the U.S. to complete an in class 38-item survey. The survey was a compilation of two instruments that were modified for study purposes. AmED questions were borrowed from a previously validated instrument (Brache & Stockwell, 2011). Theoretical questions were also adopted from a previously validated instrument intended to examine heavy episodic drinking among undergraduates (Collins, Witkiewitz, & Larimer, 2011). Theoretical questions were modified in order to examine AmED use. Reliability analyses were conducted to ensure reliability of theoretical scales.

Results: 605 undergraduates completed a survey during class time at the university in which the research was conducted. 21.3% of undergraduates had engaged in AmED consumption in the last 30 days. Individually, all four constructs of the TPB (attitude, behavioral intention, social norms, perceived behavioral control) significantly predicted AmED comsumption (p<.001). A logistic regression combining the four constructs revealed a significant model (df=4, x2=213.714, p<.0001) explaining 46.2% of the variance. Specifically, results indicated that the TPB constructs of attitude (p<.001) and behavioral intention (p<.001) were predictors of AmED consumption. Social norms and perceived behavioral control were not significant predictors, while controlling for the effects of one another.

Conclusion: The TPB has some utility in explaining AmED consumption. These outcomes could assist health professionals to create policies and prevention efforts aimed at reducing AmED intake.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify significant theoretical predictors of mixing alcohol with energy drinks (AmED) among college undergraduates. Identify prevalence rates for mixing alcohol with energy drinks among college undergraduate students. Apply Theory of Planned Behavior constructs to mixing alcohol with energy drinks (AmED).

Keyword(s): College Students, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a program coordinator for a federally funded project that examined drinking and driving and readiness to change while implementing the Transtheoretical Model of Change as it relates to drinking and driving on a Southern University Campus. I am well-versed in the theoretical applications of drinking and driving among college students and have built on this topic by focusing on the mixing of alcohol and energy drinks among college undergraduates for my dissertation research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3416.0: Substance Abuse