Individuals who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmEDs) have been identified as higher-risk drinkers, as they are more prone to drink increased amounts of alcohol and experience more consequences compared with non-AmED users. The present study examined differential AmED use and alcohol consumption simultaneously as multidimensional risk behaviors among AmED users. Students who identified as drinkers and current AmED users (n = 195) completed a Web-based survey related to their AmED consumption and typical drinking patterns. Latent profile analysis was used to classify participants into distinct AmED user profiles. Profiles were then compared on AmED-based cognitive factors (e.g., expectancies, norms) and alcohol-related consequences. Four AmED user profiles emerged: moderate drinker, low proportion AmED users (ML); heavy drinker, low proportion AmED users (HL); moderate drinker, high proportion AmED users (MH); and heavy drinker, high proportion AmED users (HH). Membership in higher-proportion AmED groups was associated with more positive AmED expectancies and perceived norms. No significant differences were observed in the amount of consequences endorsed by HL and HHs; however, MHs experienced significantly more alcohol-related physical consequences than MLs. This suggests that increased use of AmEDs is associated with increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related consequences for moderate drinkers. Screening students for AmED use could be used as a novel, inexpensive tool to identify high-risk drinkers for targeted interventions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and related problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health