The Effects of Temporal Perspective on College Students’ Energy Drink Consumption

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Objective: Consideration of future consequences (CFC) describes the extent to which individuals consider potential future outcomes of their present behaviors. This personality trait has been found to predict repetitive health behaviors. Research is yet to explore the role of health beliefs, which may mediate the relationship between CFC and self-directed health behaviors. Thus, this study examined how CFC affects energy drink-related health beliefs and consumption behavior. Design: A cross-sectional correlational online survey with 1,050 college students was conducted. Key measures include the CFC Scale, health belief measures, and current energy drink consumption pattern. Results: CFC was associated with energy drink consumption as well as several health beliefs. CFC had indirect effects on energy drink consumption through health beliefs, including perceived severity of consuming energy drinks (indirect effect estimate = −.191, 95% confidence interval [CI] [–.271, −.122]), perceived benefits of avoiding energy drinks (indirect effect estimate = −.108, 95% CI [–.174, −.050]), and perceived barriers in abstaining from energy drinks (energy level-related barriers, indirect effect estimate = −.274, 95% CI [–.387, −.181]; and socialization-related barriers, indirect effect estimate = .152, 95% CI [.078, .249]). Conclusion: As the first study to examine CFC’s indirect effects on a self-directed health behavior through health beliefs, this study extended CFC’s applicability by examining its role in the context of college students’ energy drink consumption.

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