Caffeine dependence in teenagers

Gail A Bernstein, Marilyn E Carroll, Paul D. Thuras, Kelly P. Cosgrove, Megan E. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


This study identifies and characterizes symptoms of caffeine dependence in adolescents. Thirty-six adolescents who consumed caffeine daily and had some features of caffeine dependence on telephone screen were scheduled for outpatient evaluation. Evaluation included the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV - Youth Version (DISC-IV) and modified DISC-IV questions that assessed caffeine dependence based on DSM-IV substance dependence criteria. Of 36 subjects, 41.7% (n = 15) reported tolerance to caffeine, 77.8% (n = 28) described withdrawal symptoms after cessation or reduction of caffeine intake, 38.9% (n = 14) reported desire or unsuccessful attempts to control use, and 16.7% (n = 6) endorsed use despite knowledge of physical or psychological problems associated with caffeine. There was no significant difference in the amount of caffeine consumed daily by caffeine dependent versus non-dependent teenagers. These findings are important due to the vast number of adolescents who drink caffeinated beverages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002


  • Adolescents
  • Caffeine dependence
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis

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