Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

High energy drinks in young people: usage (patterns), knowledge, attitudes and associated factors

Additional information:

Type of assignment:               BSc. thesis

Internal/external:                    Internal
How many students?             4
Supervision:                           Individually / in (sub)groups

Includes data collection?       Yes

Type of research:                   Quantitative research

Number of ECTS?                 1 5 ECTS

Research assignment:

High energy drinks are soft drinks to which substances with boosting effects, such as caffeine or taurine and glucurono-lactone have been added. Examples of high energy drinks are Red Bull, Burn, Monster en Bullit.  High energy drinks were initially used by athletes after sporting, but in the past decade they have gained popularity in almost all groups of teenagers and young adults. However, the consumption of these drinks are not without dangers and studies have shown a wide variety of adverse side effects such as increased stress, lack of sleep, low school performance, dental problems, cardiac events and even suicide attempts. Currently the Dutch government is even considering to prohibit these drinks in young people under the age of 18.

But why are these drinks so attractive to youngsters? An how well are the young people aware of the potential risks associated with these dinks? In the current study you will
examine the consumption (patterns) of these drinks among young adults (students) , and examine which determinants are associated with (occasional and extensive) use of these drinks.

You will apply a behavioral determinant model (such as theory of planned behaviour, Health Belief Model, or Prototype Willingness Model) to examine youngsters’ attitudes, risk perceptions and perceived norms regarding drinking High Energy drinks. You may also look at the associations with other potential relevant factors of your interest. Examples of factors that might be interesting are demographics (eg age, gender, education level), engagement in sports, engagements in other health threatening behaviours (such as smoking, drink alcohol), certain personality traits (eg. ‘sensation seeking’) or association with of certain subculture (eg gothic, hippie, punk).

Who do we look for?:

Students that are: 
- interested in the topic of cognitive enhancement drug use
- motivated to conduct a quantitative study among students or other young people
- motivated to collect their own data

- motivated to integrate their own topics of interest in the current research assignment 

to be determined


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Petrelli, F., Grappasonni, I., Evangelista, D., Pompei, P., Broglia, G., Cioffi, P., Kracmarova, L., Scuri, S. Mental and physical effects of energy drinks consumption in an Italian young people group: A pilot study (2018) Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, 59 (1), pp. E80-E87. 

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