Underlying Beliefs Associated With College Student Consumption of Energy Beverages

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Abstract

College students are heavy consumers of energy beverages, yet further study is needed to better understand determinants of use. The purpose of this cross-sectional study (N = 283) was to identify beliefs explaining unsafe consumption practices. A principal components analysis revealed three eigenvalues >1 explaining approximately 55% of the variance (health and appearance, performance and fatigue, and recreation and alcohol). Multiple regression analysis explained 75% of the variance for intent to consume. Standardized beta for attitude and subjective norms was p < .001; perceived behavioral control was p < .05. MANOVA was used to determine the effect of gender on eight dependent variables (Wilks’s lambda = 3.78, p < .001). Attitudes and subjective norms influenced the intent to consume energy beverages, particularly in males. Students viewed energy beverages as useful for managing health and appearance and performance and fatigue, and as a way to enhance recreation and alcohol consumption.

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