[The copyright line for this article was changed on 23 June 2014 after original online publication]
Maternal trait personality and breastfeeding duration: the importance of confidence and social support
Article first published online: 6 AUG 2013
© 2014 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 70, Issue 3, pages 587–598, March 2014
How to Cite
2013) Maternal trait personality and breastfeeding duration: the importance of confidence and social support. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(3), 587–598. doi: 10.1111/jan.12219(
- Issue published online: 23 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 6 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 JUN 2013
- social support;
- trait personality
To explore associations among breastfeeding duration, maternal personality and maternal attitudes and experiences of breastfeeding.
Understanding influences on breastfeeding initiation and duration is critical to increasing breastfeeding rates and supporting new mothers. Maternal characteristics such as self-efficacy, knowledge and confidence are known to enable women to breastfeed, but little is known about the influence of maternal trait personality on breastfeeding.
An exploratory cross-sectional survey.
A total of 602 mothers with an infant aged 6–12 months old completed a self-report questionnaire examining maternal trait personality, breastfeeding duration and attitudes and experiences of breastfeeding. Data were collected between March–June 2009.
Mothers who reported high levels of extraversion, emotional stability and conscientiousness were significantly more likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding for a longer duration. Attitudes and experiences significantly associated with these personality traits such as perceived difficulties and lack of support may explain these patterns. For example, characteristics associated with introversion and anxiety may prevent women from seeking support or challenging negative attitudes of others at this critical time.
Understanding the influence of maternal personality may thus be a useful tool in antenatal support to recognize women who may need extra, directed support while facilitating discussion of potential barriers to breastfeeding.