Caffeinated alcohol consumption profiles and associations with use severity and outcome expectancies

Cathy Lau-Barraco, Robert J. Milletich, Ashley N. Linden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Growing evidence suggests that the consumption of caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CAB) may be riskier than alcohol alone. Efforts to identify patterns of CAB use and the correlates of such drinking patterns could further our conceptualization of and intervention for this health issue. Consequently, the current study aimed to (1) identify distinct classes of CAB users, (2) examine differences between classes on measures of alcohol and caffeine problems, and (3) compare distinct classes of CAB users on caffeine and alcohol outcome expectancies. Participants were 583 (31% men) undergraduate students from a psychology research pool. Latent profile analysis models were derived using four indicators: CAB use quantity, CAB use frequency, alcohol use quantity, and alcohol use frequency. Finding revealed four classes of drinkers: High Alcohol/High CAB (6.00%), High Alcohol/Moderate CAB (5.15%), High Alcohol/Low CAB (22.99%), and Low Alcohol/Low CAB (65.87%). The Low Alcohol/Low CAB class reported the lowest relative levels of caffeine dependence symptoms, caffeine withdrawal, alcohol use problems, and heavy episodic drinking frequency. Further, results indicated differential expectancy endorsement based on use profiles. CAB users in the High Alcohol/Low CAB class endorsed more positive alcohol expectancies than the Low Alcohol/Low CAB group. Those in the High Alcohol/High CAB class endorsed stronger withdrawal symptom caffeine expectancies than all other classes. Inclusion of substance-specific expectancies into larger theoretical frameworks in future work of CAB use may be beneficial. Findings may inform intervention efforts for those at greatest risk related to CAB consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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