Poster Presentation

Monday, November 5, 2007
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Monday, November 5, 2007
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Rising Stars Posters
The Effects of Maternal Psychosocial Factors on Maternal Competence for Infant Feeding
Sharon Karp, PhD, (c), MSN, CPNP, School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Learning Objective #1: discuss the relationship between maternal psychosocial factors and infant feeding practices.
Learning Objective #2: discuss the relationship between a mother's knowledge, attitudes, and skills and her infant feeding practices.

About 10% of annual US births in 2004 were to 15 to 19 year olds. Often challenged by care demands of their infant, especially infant feeding, the relationship between the psychosocial health of these young mothers and their infant feeding practices remains unclear. This study examined this relationship in a sample of first-time adolescent mothers with infants between the ages of 6 to 12 months. Mothers (n=70) were recruited from a pediatric primary care clinic in a large urban children’s hospital and a local WIC clinic. All mothers completed semi-structured interviews that included standardized measures with the PI per approved Institutional Review Board protocols. Maternal age ranged between 17 to 22 years (mean = 19.77, SD = 1.35). Most mothers (73%) had at least a high school education, were not married (90%), had Medicaid (82%), were enrolled in WIC (77%), reported high self-esteem (82%) and high social support (60%). High depressive symptoms (CES-D scores ³ 16) were reported by 41% of the mothers. More than half (53%) of the mothers had a BMI ³ 25 with 27% having a BMI ³ 30. Most mothers attempted to breastfeed (53%) but only 25% breastfed their infant beyond six months. Inappropriate food choices (e.g., french fries) and practices such as cereal in their babies’ bottles (82%) and starting solid foods prior to six-months of age (64%) were reported. Mothers most often sought advice about infant care from a close female relative (88%). Most mothers in this study were overweight and initiating poor feeding practices in their young children putting them at-risk for obesity and other health concerns. This study adds to the growing body of knowledge and helps frame future research needed to explore the contextual factors in adolescent mother’s lives (e.g., their primary support person) and the impact on their parenting practices.