Caffeine Expectancy Questionnaire (CaffEQ): Construction, Psychometric Properties, and Associations With Caffeine Use, Caffeine Dependence, and Other Related Variables

Expectancies for drug effects predict drug initiation, use, cessation, and relapse, and may play a causal role in drug effects (i.e., placebo effects). Surprisingly little is known about expectancies for caffeine even though it is the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. In a series of independent studies, the nature and scope of caffeine expectancies among caffeine consumers and nonconsumers were assessed, and a comprehensive and psychometrically sound Caffeine Expectancy Questionnaire (CaffEQ) was developed. After 2 preliminary studies, the CaffEQ was administered to 1,046 individuals from the general population along with other measures of interest (e.g., caffeine use history, anxiety). Exploratory factor analysis of the CaffEQ yielded a 7-factor solution. Subsequently, an independent sample of 665 individuals completed the CaffEQ and other measures, and a subset (n = 440) completed the CaffEQ again approximately 2 weeks later. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed good model fit, and test-retest reliability was very good. The frequency and quantity of caffeine use were associated with greater expectancies for withdrawal/dependence, energy/work enhancement, appetite suppression, social/mood enhancement, and physical performance enhancement and lower expectancies for anxiety/negative physical effects and sleep disturbance. Caffeine expectancies predicted various caffeine- associated features of substance dependence (e.g., use despite harm, withdrawal incidence and severity, perceived difficulty stopping use, tolerance). Expectancies for caffeine consumed via coffee were stronger than for caffeine consumed via soft drinks or tea. The CaffEQ should facilitate the advancement of our knowledge of caffeine and drug use in general.