Psychometric testing of the breastfeeding self-efficacy scale-short form among adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2011 Sep;49(3):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.12.015. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Purpose: This study aimed to (a) psychometrically assess the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form (BSES-SF) antenatally and postnatally among adolescents, and (b) examine the relationship between breast-feeding self-efficacy and adolescent demographic variables. The BSES-SF is used internationally but has not been psychometrically tested with an adolescent population.

Methods: A methodological study was conducted in which 103 pregnant adolescents were recruited from two prenatal clinics at a tertiary care setting in western Canada. The BSES-SF was administered at 34 weeks' gestation and again at 1 and 4 weeks postpartum.

Results: The Cronbach's alpha coefficient was .84 for the antenatal assessment and .93 for the postnatal assessment. Antenatal BSES-SF scores significantly predicted breast-feeding initiation, whereas antenatal and postnatal scores predicted duration and exclusivity to 4 weeks postpartum. Other reliability and validity results are consistent with previous research with adult samples. Study findings indicate prenatal classes and professional support may be particularly important sources of information to increase adolescent breast-feeding self-efficacy.

Conclusions: Results provide evidence that the scale may be a valid and reliable measure of breast-feeding self-efficacy among adolescents, predicting breast-feeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Canada
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nursing Assessment / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*