Semester of Graduation

Summer 2020

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This study measured the breastfeeding knowledge, attitude and intention of adult female students of Louisiana State University. Participants (n=1039; mean age 20.12 ± 3.122 years) were recruited to complete the questionnaire. Racial/ethnic representation was White (76.1%), African American (14.3%), Asian (5.5%), American Indian/ Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander (0.8%) and Multi-racial (3.3%). The questionnaire was used to deliver a set of knowledge, attitude and intention items. Participants were evaluated based on their scores in each section. The questionnaire was pilot tested among five students for comprehensibility and understandability and necessary changes were made according to their suggestions. The dataset was analyzed using SPSS. The total mean knowledge score was found to be 13.16 ± 2.48 out of 19 with a mean attitude score of 64.19 ± 7.69 out of 85. The entire sample was divided into three groups based on if they already had children or their intention to have a child in the future. Analysis of the difference in knowledge score among the three groups showed that the mean score was highest among the group who already had child/children and lowest among the group that had no intention to have child/children in the future. Similarly, the mean attitude score was highest among the group who already had children and the lowest among the group who did not want children in the future. Overall participants had a good level of knowledge and a positive attitude about breastfeeding. The majority of the females without children at present had an intention to breastfeed their children in the future. The only item that most of the participants did not agree with was “breastfed babies are smarter than babies who are not breastfed.” Demographics such as age, college major, college year, and mother’s education had a significant difference with this item. Knowledge and attitude scores were higher among participants from the College of Agriculture (compared to the College of Business, College of Human Sciences and Education, College of Science) and among participants who were married, senior and graduate students and participants of age 22 years and above.

Committee Chair

McKinley, Erin

Available for download on Friday, June 16, 2023

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