Alcohol mixed with energy drinks: methodology and design of the Utrecht Student Survey
Lydia de Haan,1 Hein A de Haan,2,3 Berend Olivier,1 Joris C Verster1
1Utrecht University, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2Tactus Addiction Treatment, Deventer, The Netherlands; 3Nijmegen Institute for Scientist-Practitioners in Addiction, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Abstract: This paper describes the methodology of the Utrecht Student Survey. This online survey was conducted in June 2011 by 6002 students living in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The aim of the survey was to determine the potential impact of mixing alcoholic beverages with energy drinks on overall alcohol consumption and alcohol-related consequences. In contrast to most previous surveys conducted on this topic, the current survey used a more appropriate within-subject design, comparing the alcohol consumption of individuals who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks on occasions. Specifically, a comparison was conducted to examine the occasions during which these individuals consume this mixture versus occasions during which they consume alcohol alone. In addition to energy drinks, the consumption of other non-alcoholic mixers was also assessed when combined with alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, the reasons for consuming energy drinks alone or in combination with alcohol were investigated, and were compared to reasons for mixing alcohol with other non-alcoholic beverages. Finally, personality characteristics and the level of risk-taking behavior among the individuals were also assessed to explore their relationship with alcohol consumption. The Utrecht Student Survey will be replicated in the USA, Australia, and the UK. Results will be pooled, but also examined for possible cross-cultural differences.
Keywords: energy drink, alcohol, alcohol related consequences, survey, methodology
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