Development and initial validation of a caffeine craving questionnaire

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Craving for caffeine has received little empirical attention, despite considerable research into the potential for caffeine dependence. The main aim of this study was to develop, and initially validate, a multi-item, multidimensional instrument to measure cravings for caffeine. Participants were 189 caffeine consumers who completed the Questionnaire of Caffeine Cravings, which was based on the Questionnaire of Smoking Urges (QSU), in one of five naturally occurring periods of abstinence; 1-15 min; 16-120 mins; 3-7 h; 12-48 h and +48 h. Exploratory factor analysis suggested a three-factor solution best described the data; Factor 1 reflected strong desires, intentions and positive reinforcement; Factor 2 reflected mild/general positive and negative reinforcement and Factor 3 reflected functional/mood-based negative reinforcement. Significantly higher Factor 1 and Factor 2 scores were recorded for high frequency users; significantly higher Factor 1 and Factor 3 scores were recorded as a function of increased levels of dependence. Duration of abstinence did not significantly effect cravings across all three factors. Regression analyses suggested level of dependence best predicted both current cravings and frequency of daily use. These findings suggest caffeine cravings may be conceptualized multidimensionally and further validates the use of multidimensional, multi-item instruments. Cravings for caffeine may manifest and be detected across varying levels of dependence and, frequency of use and independently of duration of abstinence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80 - 91
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • abstinence
  • craving
  • caffeine
  • measurement
  • multidimensional
  • psychometric
  • reinforcement
  • withdrawal


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