Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Bastin

Abstract

Evidence suggests that college students may increase caffeine consumption to cope with the stress and demands of college. The relationships between perceived stress, caffeine consumption, and GPA were examined in students at a large public university. Students were surveyed to determine perceived stress (Cohen’s Perceived Stress Questionnaire), beliefs about caffeine, caffeine consumption, workload in and outside of the classroom, and GPA. Surveys were administered at the beginning of the semester and again at midterm. Based on Cohen’s 40-point scale, average stress scores increased from 15.95 ± 6.34 at the beginning of the semester to 18.89 ± 6.94 at midterms. Additionally, 88% of students reported having consumed caffeine in the past week at the beginning of the semester; by midterms, this was 90%. Caffeine consumption increased from an average of 167.90 ± 159.08 mg/day to 197.59 ± 167.16 mg/day. Overall, there were not significant correlations between average perceived stress scores and average daily caffeine consumption, or by consumers, gender, or class. As well, there was not a significant association between average daily caffeine consumption and cumulative GPA. However, significant positive associations were found for the consumer group and within the senior consumer group.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.425

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