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Correlates of Breast-feeding in a Rural Population

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Objectives: To examine the associations of education and employment with breast-feeding initiation and duration in rural mothers, in the context of environmental, social, and intrapersonal factors. Methods: Data from a telephone survey of 414 mothers from rural Minnesota were examined with regression analyses. Results: Education and employment had individual and interactive effects of breast-feeding practices. Women with higher educations and those who were not employed full-time were more likely to initiate and maintain a longer duration of breast-feeding. Conclusions: Rural women with less than college educations and who work full-time may need the most support for initiating and maintaining breast-feeding.

Keywords: breast-feeding; maternal health; rural; social indicators; women's health

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Minneapolis, MN.

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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