College Students’ Use of Energy Drinks, Social Problem-Solving, and Academic Performance

Document Type



academic performance; caffeine use; college students; energy drinks; problem-solving

Identifier Data


Publication Source

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs


Energy drink (ED) use among college students to improve academic performance (AP) has skyrocketed. A growing body of literature indicates that the risks associated with ED use may outweigh the perceived benefits. In this study, 486 undergraduates were surveyed on their general substance and ED usage, Social Problem-Solving (SPS) ability, and AP. It was hypothesized that: (1) ED use would be a negative predictor of AP; (2) SPS would be a positive predictor of AP; (3) SPS would be a negative predictor of ED use; and (4) SPS and ED use would account for a significant amount of the variance in AP. A linear multiple regression for AP was conducted, with predictor variables entered in the following order: total drug use, non-ED caffeine use, SPS, and ED use. The overall model was significant and accounted for approximately 7% of the variance in AP. The hypotheses of the study were supported, indicating that ED use may be related to decreased AP, SPS ability may be related to increased AP, or that students with poor AP and less effective SPS skills are more likely to use EDs. Implications of these findings are important for college students and other users of ED products.

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