East Texas Regional Survey on Attitudes Concerning Breast-Feeding

by Tammy Leach, Amber Pierce, Julia Schnee, Ashley Lofton
Faculty Advisor: Lauren Scharff


Presented at Southwest Psychological Association Convention, April 2002
Recipient of a Psi Chi research award



There have been many studies conducted by the medical community that support the vital health benefits of breastfeeding. However, the American public is not well informed about the factors that influence attitudes towards breastfeeding due to an insufficient number of recent studies on that topic.

One study, conducted by Haneuse, Sciacca, Ratliff, Alexander, and Rivero (2000) found that the most influential factor on breastfeeding incidence was that of family and friends. Additionally, two studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics (1997) found trends suggesting that the highest rates of breastfeeding are seen in higher-income, college-educated women over the age of 30, and residing in the Mountain and Pacific regions of the United States (American Association of Pediatrics, 1997; Saha 2002).



Participants included 314 subjects (217 females and 93 males) residing in both rural and metropolitan areas in East Texas, Northeast Texas, and Southeast Texas.


Materials consisted of an informed consent form and a survey onthe attitudes toward breastfeeding. The survey contained forced choice and open ended questions about demographics (age, gender, race…), and yes/no and forced choice questions about family breastfeeding history, and breastfeeding influences and opinions on appropriate places to breastfeed.


The surveyor distributed consent forms and surveys at Stephen F. Austin State University, various work places (BerryDirect, a factory business office, private business offices, the Houston Police Department, a retail store), a city recreation field, a clinic and several hospitals, and over the telephone (friends and their family and friends). Participants were instructed to complete the survey as thoroughly as possible and return it to the surveyor.


Several Chi Square analyses were performed to determine breastfeeding influences and opinions for the different demographic groups. The following graphs illustrate selected question results for the various demographic groups. (Most of the graphed questions were chosen because the differences between the various demographic groups were significant. Symbols next to the questions indicate the significance level: * at the 0.05 level, and ** indicates the 0.01level. The remaining questions were included due on interest based on previous research or general hyptheses.)

Results based on Participant Gender:

Results based on Participant Age:

Results based on Participant Education Level:

Results based on Participant Race:

Results based on Participant Area of Living:

Results based on Participant Religion:



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