Understanding adolescent caffeine use: connecting use patterns with expectancies, reasons, and sleep

Health Educ Behav. 2010 Jun;37(3):330-42. doi: 10.1177/1090198109341783. Epub 2009 Oct 26.


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 behaviors. 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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Beverages*
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Carbonated Beverages*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Coffee*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Motivation*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Set, Psychology*
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Wakefulness / drug effects*


  • Coffee
  • Caffeine