Term of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jessica Brooks

Committee Member 1

C. Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 2

Lawrence Locker


Reports of energy drink (ED) consumption have grown among the United States population. Research suggests reasons for consumption vary across populations, including increased attention and enhanced endurance performance. However, ED consumers could suffer from negative effects of ED, including health problems, caffeine overdose, and death. Energy drink consumption is also linked to substance use. Despite risks of consuming ED, heavy use of EDs remains among college students, often to help with academic performance; however, research has not examined effects of ED consumption on perceived and actual academic performance. This study evaluated relationships among ED consumption, self-efficacy, and academic performance in 122 (Day I) and 98 (Day II) undergraduate students whereby they completed a number of academic tasks and questionnaires. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of four conditions prior to participating: (1) Water-Academic Task delayed condition; (2) Water-Academic Task immediate condition; (3) Energy drink-Academic Task delayed condition; (4) Energy drink-Academic Task immediate condition. Preliminary analysis of bivariate correlations revealed higher levels of self-efficacy in academics were negatively correlated with beliefs of positive self-efficacy, whereas actual performance on an academic task during Day I was positively correlated with actual performance during Day II. Multiple regression analysis yielded nonsignificant results; that is, beliefs of typical and atypical features of EDs and attitudes toward EDs failed to significantly predict perceived performance or actual performance on an academic task. Two separate 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVAs revealed no significant effect of consumption of an ED on perception of performance or actual performance. A moderation analysis using hierarchical multiple regression found participants who consumed ED and have higher perception of performance scored higher on the academic task than those who consumed ED and had lower perceptions of performance. Two independent t-tests revealed significant differences existing in ED consumption levels between genders (women vs. men)—with men consuming more ED than women—and among childhood geographic status (rural vs. nonrural)—with those living in rural areas consuming more ED than those living in urban/suburban areas during childhood. Overall, ED consumption positively impacts academic performance, but only when combined with higher levels of perceived performance.

Research Data and Supplementary Material