CitationKremer, Kristen P. & Kremer, Theodore R. (2018). Breastfeeding Is Associated with Decreased Childhood Maltreatment. Breastfeeding Medicine. vol. 13 (1) pp. 18-22
AbstractPURPOSE: Child maltreatment has serious implications for youth outcomes, yet its associations with early parenting practices are not fully understood. This study investigated whether breastfeeding practices are correlated with childhood maltreatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were utilized from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a nationally representative and longitudinal study of adolescents. The analytic sample comprised 4,159 adolescents. The outcome variables included four subtypes of childhood maltreatment (neglect, inadequate supervision, physical abuse, and sexual abuse). The primary independent variable was breastfeeding duration. Covariates of the child, mother, and household were included in analyses. Logistic regression models were employed to predict odds of maltreatment subtypes from breastfeeding duration and covariates. RESULTS: Compared with adolescents never breastfed, adolescents breastfed 9 months or longer had a reduced odds of having experienced neglect (odds ratio [OR] = 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.35-0.83) and sexual abuse (OR = 0.47; 95% CI = 0.24-0.93) after controlling for covariates. CONCLUSIONS: Breastfeeding duration is significantly and inversely associated with childhood neglect and sexual abuse. Breastfeeding practices should be explored as a consideration among clinicians when assessing maltreatment risk. Further research should examine whether a causal relationship exists between breastfeeding and maltreatment.
Keyword(s)breastfeeding child abuse child neglect
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleBreastfeeding Medicine
Author(s)Kremer, Kristen P.
Kremer, Theodore R.