An Assessment of the Social Cognitive Predictors of Exclusive Breastfeeding Behavior Using the Health Action Process Approach
By Martinez-Brockman J, Shebl F, Harari N, Perez-Escamilla R
Rationale: In the United States rates of exclusive breastfeeding duration remain exceedingly low. Exclusive breastfeeding is a complex learned behavior that is influenced by social cognitive, interpersonal, and structural factors. Interventions are needed that address factors at multiple levels of the social-ecological model. This study was designed to examine the social cognitive predictors of exclusive breastfeeding behavior in a sample of low-income women attending the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) breastfeeding peer counseling program and enrolled in the Lactation Advice Through Texting Can Help (LATCH) study.
Objectives: The objectives were to examine whether: (1) the theoretical model, the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA), fit the data well; (2) planning mediated the effect of intentions and maintenance self-efficacy on exclusive breastfeeding; and (3) recovery self-efficacy mediated the association between maintenance self-efficacy and exclusive breastfeeding behavior.
Methods: Outcome expectancies, action self-efficacy and intentions were assessed prenatally at baseline in N = 119 participants. Maintenance self-efficacy, planning, recovery self-efficacy and breastfeeding behavior were measured at two weeks postpartum. Structural equation modeling with mean and variance adjusted Weighted Least Squares estimation was used to examine the applicability of the HAPA model to the data.
Results: Phase specific self-efficacy and planning significantly predicted exclusive breastfeeding status. Planning and recovery self-efficacy mediated the association between maintenance self-efficacy and exclusive breastfeeding. Planning did not emerge as a mediator between intentions and behavior.
Conclusion: These results demonstrate the utility of the HAPA model in predicting exclusive breastfeeding behavior among low-income women attending WIC. LATCH is a theoretically sound text messaging intervention that can be used to augment and reinforce the WIC breastfeeding peer counseling process.
November 15, 2017
Martinez-Brockman J, Shebl F, Harari N, Pérez-Escamilla R (2017) 'An Assessment of the Social Cognitive Predictors of Exclusive Breastfeeding Behavior Using the Health Action Process Approach'. Social Science & Medicine: Vol. 182, pp. 106-116. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.04.014