Breast versus bottle: Correlates of adolescent mothers' infant-feeding prarctices

A. Joffe, S. M. Radius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the 1970s, breast-feeding as the preferred method of infant feeding has increased in overall popularity. However, certain populations, particularly poor, young, black, and less-educated women, have been slow to adopt this method. This prospective study was undertaken to identify factors relating to the choice of infant-feeding method among inner-city adolescents. Two hundred fifty-four pregnant adolescents completed a questionnaire supplying information regarding attitudes toward and knowledge about breast-feeding, social support, personal experience, and other variables hypothesized to correlate with their choice of infant-feeding method. Of the total sample, 17% said they were 'probably' or 'definitely' going to breast-feed their babies. Analyses revealed adolescents most likely to intend to breast-feed were those who perceived more benefits to breast-feeding, who desired more knowledge about it, who were themselves breast-fed, who reported supportive social environments, and who perceived relatively fewer barriers to breast-feeding their infants. Specific interventions based upon these findings are proposed. We conclude that adolescent mothers are interested in breast-feeding their babies and that interventions are feasible to increase breast-feeding within this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-695
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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