Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Caffeine is the most commonly consumed drug in the world. Although its effects are relatively mild when consumed in moderate amounts, there exist cases where caffeine use is problematic. Currently no behavioral intervention for problematic caffeine consumption exists in which caffeine use is verified beyond self-reports. No measures of caffeine dependence and withdrawal exist either. The current study examined the viability of contingency management, an empirically supported behavioral intervention for reducing drug use, for initiating abstinence from caffeine consumption among college students of varying levels of use, as well as validity evidence for novel measures of caffeine dependence and withdrawal. Participants (N = 39) came in to the lab for 3 experimental sessions in an ABA design over the course of 5 to 7 days to complete the AUTOC, CWS, and SCEWS and to provide saliva samples. During the BAT participants could earn a higher magnitude reward ($20) for abstaining from caffeine. 95% of participants met criteria for abstinence during the BAT. The ELISA appeared to work at an aggregate level, though individual samples were inconsistent enough to prevent these results from being used as a criterion for caffeine abstinence. AUTOC, CWS, and SCEWS scores functioned moderately well for measuring caffeine dependence and withdrawal. These results indicate CM of caffeine use may be effective for intervening with problematic caffeine consumption.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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