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Young adults who mix alcohol with energy drinks: Typology of risk-taking behaviour

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 08:42 authored by Amy PeacockAmy Peacock, Raimondo BrunoRaimondo Bruno

Introduction: Contrary to predictions, several studies have shown that people who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) display low odds of risk-taking during AmED versus alcohol drinking sessions. However, these results are based on treating AmED consumers as a homogeneous group. The aim of the present study was to determine typologies of AmED risk-taking behaviour amongst consumers, as well as identifying correlates of AmED risk-taking class membership.

Methods: AmED consumers (N = 403) completed an online survey where they reported whether they had engaged in risk behaviours in the preceding six months during AmED and alcohol drinking sessions. Latent class models were estimated based on AmED risk-taking data; univariate multinomial logistic regression was conducted to determine correlates of class membership.

Results: A 3-class model was selected based on fit and parsimony, identifying: 1) Low risk-taking consumers (38%): low probability of any AmED risk behaviours; 2) disinhibited intake consumers (48%): high probability of drinking and spending more than intended; and 3) high risk-taking consumers (14%): high probability of most AmED risk behaviours assessed. The latter two groups had significantly higher odds of being male and reporting hazardous alcohol use, more frequent AmED use, greater alcohol and ED intake in AmED sessions, and higher trait impulsivity scores. The latter two groups also reported significantly greater odds of risk-taking behaviours regardless of whether consuming alcohol only or AmED.

Conclusions: AmED consumers are not a homogeneous group in regard to their risk-taking behaviours post consumption. High likelihood of risk-taking behaviour in AmED sessions, as well as elevated risk-taking in alcohol drinking sessions, highlights the need for targeted harm minimisation policies and programmes for a significant minority of consumers.


Publication title

Addictive Behaviors: An International Journal








School of Psychological Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

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