Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.50(3) > 1081503

J Nutr Health. 2017 Jun;50(3):284-293. Korean.
Published online June 30, 2017.
© 2017 The Korean Nutrition Society
Belief factors associated with breastfeeding intentions of single women: Based on the theory of planned behavior
Min Kyung Jang,1 Seung-Min Lee,2 and Jin Mo Khil3
1Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul 01333, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul 01333, Korea.
3Department of Food and Nutrition, Honam University, Gwangju 62399, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-62-940-5412, Email:
Received April 12, 2017; Revised April 30, 2017; Accepted June 01, 2017.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was conducted to examine the behavioral intentions of breastfeeding in single women using the theory of planned behavior.


The questionnaires were distributed to 350 single women in her 20~30s, and 316 respondents were analyzed by descriptive statistics, Spearman's correlation, and multiple regression analysis.


The subjects showed strong intentions and favorable attitudes toward breastfeeding. The subjects were more favorably influenced by their mothers, siblings, friends, and coworkers who previously experienced breastfeeding than ones with no breastfeeding experiences. There were significant correlations between breastfeeding intention and attitudes (r = 0.321, p < 0.0001), subjective norms (r = 0.434, p < 0.0001), and perceived control (r = 0.307, p < 0.0001). However, regression analysis with two different age groups revealed that subjective norms (p < 0.0001) and perceived control (p < 0.001) contributed to the model of explaining breastfeeding intentions in subjects who were 25 years old or younger, whereas attitudes did not. In addition, subjects who were more than 25 years old showed that attitudes (p < 0.003) and subjective norms (p = 0.002) contributed to the model of explaining breastfeeding intentions while perceived control (p < 0.070) showed less contribution.


These results suggest that the theory of planned behavior can be a useful tool to increase the rate of breastfeeding intentions in single women when designing educational materials, which requires consideration of age differences.

Keywords: single women; breastfeeding; intention; theory of planned behavior; belief factor


Fig. 1
Research model (Actual breastfeeding was not measured in this study.)
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Fig. 2
Mean attitude, subjective norms, perceived control, and intention scores by age groups
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Fig. 3
Multivariate regression analysis on breastfeeding intention by age groups.
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Table 1
General characteristics of the subjects
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Table 2
Attitude toward breastfeeding
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Table 3
Subjective norms of breastfeeding
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Table 4
Perceived control over breastfeeding
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Table 5
Distribution of breastfeeding intention
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Table 6
Correlation coefficients between theory of planned behavior variables
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