Shaping tomorrow with research more favorable attitudes toward breast-feeding as a result of increasing knowledge of benefits of breast-feeding
Dagenais, Roberta J.
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The trend in breast-feeding in the United States during this century has generally declined and at present represents a little over half of newborn infants being breast-fed at hospital dismissal and approximately 20%-35% at four to six months of age. The Healthy People 2000 National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention objective to increase breast-feeding to at least 75% of all babies in the early weeks of life is not being achieved. Another goal of the objective is that at least 50% of the babies continue to be breast-fed to five or six months of age. The purpose of this study was to determine if increased knowledge of the benefits of breast-feeding would result in more favorable attitudes toward breast-feeding. An attitudinal survey yielding Likert-type scores was constructed from responses to open-ended questions regarding breast-feeding and administered to different levels of nutrition majors at Northern Illinois University. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Analysis System using two-factor analysis of variance and multiple regression analysis. The study reflected that increasing the knowledge of the benefits of breast-feeding resulted in a more positive attitude toward breast-feeding in the target population. Various proposals are included to address the applications of the significant results of the study.