Predictors of Continuation of Exclusive Breastfeeding for the First Six Months of Life

Document Type


Publication Date



This study aimed to investigate the relative importance of the psychosocial factors underlying mother's decision to continue exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for 6 months using the theory of planned behavior. A cohort of EBF-mothers (N = 78) completed a questionnaire assessing theoretical constructs at baseline and phone-interviewed at follow-up. Multiple regression analyses were performed to find important predictors of intention, overall and married vs unmarried. Attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control together explained 50.2% (P <.01) of the variance in mothers' intention to continue EBF for 6 months. Attitude and subjective norm were better predictors of the intention than perceived behavioral control. The role of subjective norm was greater in married than in unmarried women. A strong, positive correlation ('3 = 0.67, P <.01) was found between intended and actual EBF duration. Intervention programs designed to positively influence mother's attitude and social support may be effective in improving intention, thereby increasing EBF maintenance for 6 months.



This document is currently not available here.