The role of social-cognitive and emotional factors on exclusive breastfeeding duration

Shepherd, Lee, Walbey, Cherokee and Lovell, Brian (2017) The role of social-cognitive and emotional factors on exclusive breastfeeding duration. Journal of Human Lactation, 33 (3). pp. 606-613. ISSN 0890-3344

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Background: Previous research has suggested that exclusive breastfeeding is likely to be predicted by social-cognitive variables and fear. However, there is little research assessing the role of regret and self-conscious emotions (e.g., pride and guilt) in promoting exclusive breastfeeding.

Research Aim: The primary aim of this research was to determine whether social-cognitive variables, fear, regret, and self-conscious emotions predict exclusive breastfeeding duration. The secondary aim of this research was to assess whether these factors predict infant feeding choice (i.e., exclusively breastfed, combination fed, or generally formula-fed).

Methods: In this non-experimental one-group self-report survey, 375 mothers rated social-cognitive variables toward breastfeeding (attitude, subjective norm, perceived control and self-efficacy), their fear towards inadequate nutrition from breastfeeding and breastfeeding damaging their physical appearance, and the extent to which mothers may feel pride towards breastfeeding, and negative self-conscious emotions (guilt and shame) and regret for not breastfeeding their infant.

Results: Exclusive breastfeeding duration was positively predicted by self-efficacy, pride, and regret, but negatively predicted by the fear towards inadequate nutrition. We also found that in contrast to exclusive breastfeeding, generally formula feeding an infant was associated with lower self-efficacy, pride, regret, but higher subjective norm and fear towards inadequate nutrition through breastfeeding.

Conclusions: We argue that it is important to consider the role of self-conscious emotions and regret on exclusive breastfeeding.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: breastfeeding, breastfeeding barriers, breastfeeding promotion, exclusive breastfeeding, human milk, theory of planned behavior
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 09:09
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 08:02

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