Predicting mothers’ decisions to introduce complementary feeding at 6 months : an investigation using an extended theory of planned behaviour
Hamilton, Kyra, Daniels, Lynne A, White, Katherine M., Murray, Nicole, & Walsh, Anne M. (2011) Predicting mothers’ decisions to introduce complementary feeding at 6 months : an investigation using an extended theory of planned behaviour. Appetite, 56(3), pp. 674-681.
In Australia and other developed countries there is poor adherence to guidelines recommending the introduction of complementary feeding to infants at 6 months of age. We aimed to investigate, via adopting a theory of planned behaviour framework and incorporating additional normative and demographic influences, mothers’ complementary feeding intentions and behaviour. Participants were 375 primiparas who completed an initial questionnaire (infant age 13±3weeks) that assessed the theory of planned behaviour constructs of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control, as well as group norm and additional maternal and infant variables of mothers’ age, education level, weight status perception, current maternal feeding practices, and infant birth weight. Approximately, 3 months after completion of the main questionnaire, mothers completed a follow-up questionnaire that assessed the age in months at which the infant was first introduced to solids. The theory of planned behaviour variables of attitude and subjective norm, along with group norm, predicted intentions, with intention, mothers’ age (older more likely), and weight status perception (overweight less likely) predicting behaviour. Overall, the results highlight the importance of attitudes, normative influences, and individual characteristics in complementary feeding decision-making which should be considered when designing interventions aimed at improving adherence to current maternal feeding guidelines.
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