Research & Resources

Caffeine Consumption and Onset of Alcohol Use Among Early Adolescents

In this study, researchers sought to determine the possible contribution of caffeine to the onset of alcohol use during early adolescence. Researchers collected survey data from 1,349 6th grade students in 20 West Virginia middle schools during the fall of 2020, and again approximately 6 months later in the spring of 2021. Analysis was limited to students reporting never having used any form of alcohol at baseline. At follow-up, almost 14% of participants reported having consumed alcohol at least once and 57% reported having used at least 100 milligrams of caffeine (i.e., one 8-ounce cup) daily. Daily caffeine use of at least 100 milligrams was significantly related to alcohol use at the 6-month follow-up. Researchers concluded that caffeine consumption among 11- to 12-year-old adolescents is a potential factor in the early onset of alcohol use.

This paper, “Caffeine consumption and onset of alcohol use among early adolescents,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Preventive medicine.

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