A Comparison of Breastfeeding Exposure, Attitude, and Knowledge Between Collegiate African American and White Males with no Biological Children

Simone P. Camel, Leslie Heathman, Crystal Clark Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Human milk is the preferred source of infant nourishment; yet, acceptance of human milk as the norm for infant feeding is debated. In the United States there is a disparity in breastfeeding rates, which are significantly lower in African Americans compared to Whites. Multiple variables appear to influence breastfeeding, including the male partner. Objectives: To assess and compare breastfeeding exposure, attitude, and knowledge between African American and White college males with no biological children. A second objective was to explore the relationship between breastfeeding variables and educational attainment, academic major, and sibling presence. Methods: A subset of responses from a larger cross-sectional survey were analyzed. African American and White collegiate males aged 18–40 years without biological children were included in the study. The questionnaire included demographic, exposure, attitude, and knowledge items. Results: A total of 117 African American and 713 White males were included and represented all academic colleges on campus. African American participants documented less exposure to breastfeeding, a more positive attitude, and similar poor knowledge scores compared to their White counterparts. Sibling presence was linked with exposure, and exposure was linked to attitude. Both African American and White science majors scored higher on all factors than humanities or business majors. Conclusions for Practice: Breastfeeding exposure influences males’ attitudes toward breastfeeding. Future research should consider types of exposure to identify the sources most influential. Furthermore, tailoring breastfeeding interventions to increase exposure and knowledge in core wellness courses may improve attitudes and social acceptance among collegiate males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-884
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • African American
  • Attitudes
  • Breastfeeding
  • Exposure
  • Males

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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