The influence of adolescent mothers' breastfeeding confidence and attitudes on breastfeeding initiation and duration

J Hum Lact. 2008 Aug;24(3):268-77. doi: 10.1177/0890334408316075.


A prospective correlational study was conducted to examine the influence of adolescent mothers' breastfeeding attitudes and confidence on breastfeeding initiation and duration. A convenience sample of 100 pregnant adolescents who were contemplating breastfeeding completed the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form (BSES-SF) and the Breastfeeding Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ). The BSES-SF was readministered during the first week postpartum to those adolescents who initiated breastfeeding (n=84). Adolescents who were breastfeeding at the initial contact received a follow-up contact at 4 weeks postpartum. Comparisons were made between those adolescent mothers who initiated breastfeeding (n=84) and those who did not (n=16). Significantly more mothers with higher prenatal attitude scores initiated breastfeeding. Mothers with higher prenatal breastfeeding attitude scores and higher prenatal and postnatal confidence scores were more likely to continue breastfeeding to 4 weeks postpartum. Health professionals are encouraged to develop strategies to enhance breastfeeding attitudes and confidence among adolescent mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Feeding / epidemiology*
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Time Factors