Online Program

Socioeconomic status as a predictor of attitude towards breast feeding

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whitney Hill, MPH, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Michelle Green, MPH, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Background: Although progress has been made in infant mortality rates in the United States, Texas continues to demonstrate high infant mortality rates (6.2 deaths per 1,000 live births). Children who are breastfed have a 20 percent lower risk of mortality between 28 days and 1 year than children who are not breastfed. Furthermore, positive attitudes regarding breastfeeding within a community increase the odds that a woman will breastfeed her infant. The primary aim is to understand predictors that affect attitudes towards breastfeeding. Methods: Data from the 2010 Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System was used to determine attitudes of adult males and females and predictors that are associated with breastfeeding in Texas. Results: This study found that income (used as a proxy for socioeconomic status) was not a significant predictor of attitudes towards breastfeeding; however, sex (p < .05, 95% confident interval [CI] .002 to .301), age (p < .05, 95% CI .005 to .113), marital status (p < .05, 95% CI -.237 to .102), and having health insurance coverage (p < .05, 95% CI .026 to .201), were associated with attitudes toward breastfeeding. Females, married individuals, persons between the ages of 18 to 34, and individuals without health insurance demonstrated higher odds of holding positive feelings towards breastfeeding. Conclusion: Since literature shows that a woman's decision to breastfeed is heavily influenced by the beliefs of her family and community, breastfeeding promotion should be targeted to a more diverse audience in order to increase social support and positive attitudes about breastfeeding.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Assess the strength of socioeconomic status as a predictor of attitudes toward breast feeding. Identify other covariates (such as health insurance status) and demographic factors that influence attitudes toward breast feeding. Explain how findings indicate a need for more wide-spread breastfeeding acceptance campaigns.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed extensive coursework in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiological research in addition to spending two years working in intensive case management with homeless women and their young children, during which time I obtained a great deal of experiential learning in the areas of MCH within vulnerable populations. Moreover, virtually all of my graduate work has been completed in MCH and how it is influenced by socioeconomic status.
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.