201264 Multidimensional assessment of acculturation associated with significant differences in exclusive breastfeeding rates among Latinas

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:30 PM

Donna J. Chapman, PhD, RD , Latino NIH Health Disparities EXPORT Center/Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Katherine Wetzel, MS , Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Grace Damio, MS, CDN , NIH EXPORT Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos, Hispanic Health Council, Hartford, CT
Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD , Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Hispanic breastfeeding rates are affected by acculturation; however, most research assesses acculturation as a unidimensional construct. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between acculturation and breastfeeding rates (any and exclusive) among low-income Latinas, using a 20-item modified ARMSA-II multidimensional scale. Data were analyzed from an ongoing randomized trial, which recruited pregnant Latinas planning to breastfeed. Acculturation data were collected at 36 weeks gestation. The Anglo Orientation Subscale (AOS) and the Hispanic Orientation Subscale (HOS) were used to classify participants as Very Hispanic Oriented, Bicultural, or Strongly Anglo Oriented. Infant feeding practices were assessed at 2 weeks and 1 month postpartum via telephone. Among the 85 women surveyed to date, the AOS and HOS were reliable (Cronbach alpha = 0.95 and 0.83, respectively). Rates of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), but not of any breastfeeding, were significantly associated with acculturation level. Bicultural women were less likely to EBF at 2 weeks and 1 month (17.5% vs 40.5% and 14.7% vs 35.9%, respectively), compared to those strongly oriented as Hispanic or Anglo (p<0.05). EBF rates at 1 month were nearly identical for those strongly oriented as Hispanic vs strongly oriented as Anglo (36.0% vs 35.7%, respectively). Additionally, mean time living in the US was significantly different between strongly Hispanic, bicultural and strongly Anglo groups (5.5±3.6, 14.4±8.4 and 20.7±7.4 years, respectively; p<0.001). These preliminary findings suggest that a multidimensional assessment of acculturation should be included as part of EBF promotion programs. Funded by NIH/NCMHD grant # P20MD001765.

Learning Objectives:
Compare unidimensional vs multidimensional methods used to assess acculturation among Latinas. Discuss the differences in exclusive breastfeeding rates of women who are bicultural vs strongly Hispanic vs strongly Anglo in this low-income Latina population .

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Low-Income

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supervised this research project and analyzed the data. Additionally, I have conducted research evaluating methods to best promote breastfeeding to low-income Latinas for the past 10 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.