The relative importance of social class and maternal education for breast-feeding initiation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine changes in breast-feeding take-up rates among Young children in Scotland and to assess Whether Maternal education or Occupation-based social class is a stronger and better predictor of breast-feeding take-up.

Design: Binary logistic regression models were developed from the first sweep of the Growing Up in Scotland longitudinal Survey, for the two cohorts of children.

Setting: A national representative survey for Scotland.

Subjects: A baby cohort of 5012 singletons born over a 12-month period between June 2004 and May 2005, and,I toddler cohort of 2732 singletons born over a 12-month period between June 2002 and May 2003.

Results: Mothers from more privileged social classes and those with more educational qualifications resulted as more likely to breast-feed. However, maternal education was a better and more robust. predictor of breast-feeding take-up compared with social class. There were no Significant differences in breast-feeding take-up) between the two cohorts and only minor differences between mothers aged 20-29 years and those who stated an intention to bottle-feed prior to birth.

Conclusions: The Study Suggests that the importance of maternal education in influencing breast-feeding has been somewhat overlooked ill research based in more developed countries. The results indicate that, compared with Occupation-related social class, maternal education is,I more informative, accurate and useful lens through Which to understand and explain patterns of breast-feeding take-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2285-2292
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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