Psychometric testing of the breastfeeding self-efficacy scale-short form in a sample of Black women in the United States


  • Deborah E. McCarter-Spaulding,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing, St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH
    • 102 Byam Road, New Boston, NH 03070.
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    • Assistant Professor.

  • Cindy-Lee Dennis

    1. Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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    • Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Community Health.

  • Financial support was provided by a grant from the International Lactation Consultant Association, and a grant from Sigma Theta Tau, Eta Omega chapter.


The benefits of breastfeeding increase with duration and exclusivity, but significant racial disparities exist in breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding self-efficacy, as measured by the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale Short-Form (BSES-SF), is a significant predictor of breastfeeding outcomes in diverse samples. The purpose of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the BSES-SF in Black women in the US. The psychometric characteristics were consistent with previous studies, including internal consistency, comparison with contrasted groups, and correlation with the construct of breastfeeding network support. Breastfeeding self-efficacy significantly predicted breastfeeding at 4 and 24 weeks postpartum. The results are consistent with previous research, and they suggest the BSES-SF could be used to identify women at risk for prematurely discontinuing breastfeeding. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:111–119, 2010