A correlational study of breastfeeding duration among Saudi mothers: The role of self-efficacy, intention, and social support


social support
breastfeeding duration
Saudi Arabia

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Al Naseeb, N. M., Badr, H., & Alghamdi, S. (2023). A correlational study of breastfeeding duration among Saudi mothers: The role of self-efficacy, intention, and social support . Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(2), 132–138. https://doi.org/10.33546/bnj.2510
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Accepted for publication: 2023-03-20
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: Breastfeeding is an essential source of nutrition for infants and offers numerous benefits for both the mother and child. Despite the consensus on its advantages, limited research in Saudi Arabia has explored the factors influencing breastfeeding duration.

Objective: This study aimed to examine the relationships between breastfeeding self-efficacy, intention, social support, and breastfeeding duration.

Methods: The study employed a correlational research design, and data were collected from three armed forces hospitals in Taif, Saudi Arabia, from December 2020 to February 2021. The samples comprised 356 conveniently selected breastfeeding mothers, assessed using the Breastfeeding Personal Efficacy Beliefs Inventory, Modified Infant Feeding Intention Scale, and Exclusive Breastfeeding Social Support Scale. Simple linear regressions were conducted for data analysis.

Results: Breastfeeding duration was divided into two groups. Group 1 consisted of mothers still breastfeeding at the time of data collection, while Group 2 comprised those who had discontinued breastfeeding. Of the total samples, 51.6% (n = 184) of mothers were classified under Group 1, while the remaining 48.4% (n = 172) were allocated to Group 2. Specifically, 78.3% of mothers had stopped breastfeeding by the time their infants were six months old, and 93.3% intended to introduce formula feeding at three months. In Group 1, the results revealed that self-efficacy (β = 0.625, p <0.001), intention (β = 0.643, p <0.001), and social support (β = 0.612, p <0.001) were positively associated with breastfeeding duration. Similarly, in Group 2, a strong positive correlation was observed between self-efficacy (β = 0.72, p <0.001), intention (β = 0.73, p <0.001), social support (β = 0.699, p <0.001), and breastfeeding duration. These three factors jointly explained 40% of the variance in breastfeeding duration in Group 1 (adjusted R² = 0.4) and 50% in Group 2 (adjusted R² = 0.5).

Conclusion: Breastfeeding intention was found to have a more significant impact on breastfeeding duration than self-efficacy and social support. These results can inform nurses and midwives in supporting breastfeeding mothers by providing them with the necessary information and increasing their awareness of breastfeeding-related factors.



Copyright (c) 2023 Nourah. M Al Naseeb, Hanan Badr, Salmah Alghamdi

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


The researchers would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the research committee at Al-Hada Hospital as well as to Ms. Shatha, Dr. Najla Kamal, and Dr. Fahad AlAmri for their invaluable support in completing this work.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors have made substantial contributions to the design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data in this work. They have also contributed to drafting and critically revising the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors have given final approval of the version to be published and have agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Data Availability

The datasets generated during and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Declaration of use of AI in Scientific Writing

Nothing to declare.


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