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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration Among Low-Income Inner-City Mothers


  • Helen J. Lee
  • Irma T. Elo
  • Kelly F. McCollum
  • Jennifer F. Culhane


Despite the promotion of breastfeeding as the "ideal" infant feeding method by health experts, breastfeeding continues to be less common among low-income and minority mothers than among other women. This article investigates how maternal sociodemographic and infant characteristics, household environment, and health behaviors are related to breastfeeding initiation and duration among low-income, inner-city mothers, with a specific focus on differences in breastfeeding behavior by race/ethnicity and nativity status. Copyright (c) 2009 by the Southwestern Social Science Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Helen J. Lee & Irma T. Elo & Kelly F. McCollum & Jennifer F. Culhane, 2009. "Racial/Ethnic Differences in Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration Among Low-Income Inner-City Mothers," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1251-1271.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:socsci:v:90:y:2009:i:5:p:1251-1271

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles Hirschman & Marilyn Butler, 1981. "Trends and differentials in breast feeding: An update," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(1), pages 39-54, February.
    2. Christine Peterson & Julie DaVanzo, 1992. "Why are teenagers in the United States less likely to breast-feed than older women?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(3), pages 431-450, August.
    3. Starbird, Ellen H., 1991. "Comparison of influences on breastfeeding initiation of firstborn children, 1960-69 vs 1970-79," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 627-634, January.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1995:85:5:729-731_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Baranowski, Tom & Bee, David E. & Rassin, David K. & Richardson, C. Joan & Brown, Judy P. & Guenther, Nancy & Nader, Philip R., 1983. "Social support, social influence, ethnicity and the breastfeeding decision," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(21), pages 1599-1611, January.
    6. Weller, Susan C. & Dungy, Claibourne I., 1986. "Personal preferences and ethnic variations among anglo and hispanic breast and bottle feeders," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 539-548, January.
    7. Guttman, Nurit & Zimmerman, Deena R., 2000. "Low-income mothers' views on breastfeeding," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(10), pages 1457-1473, May.
    8. Rachel Kimbro & Scott Lynch & Sara McLanahan, 2008. "The Influence of Acculturation on Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration for Mexican-Americans," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 27(2), pages 183-199, April.
    9. Brian Roe & Leslie Whittington & Sara Fein & Mario Teisl, 1999. "Is there competition between breast-feeding and maternal employment?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(2), pages 157-171, May.
    10. Renee Matich, J. & Sims, Laura S., 1992. "A comparison of social support variables between women who intend to breast or bottle feed," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 919-927, April.
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