Date of Award

Spring 2007

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Pamela DiNapoli


The health benefits of a longer duration of breastfeeding for both mothers and infants have been identified in the literature. However, the breastfeeding rates for infants at six and twelve months old lag the Healthy People 2010 recommendations. Studies have shown that a nurse's attitude can influence breastfeeding duration rates yet nurses' attitudes and hospital practices do not always support breastfeeding mothers. Therefore it is vital that senior nursing their practice in order to support and encourage mothers. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale was used in this study to collect data from junior nursing students before their maternal/child health course and senior nursing students after their maternal/child health course. The results of the study found a significant difference in the attitude scores between the juniors and seniors with the seniors having more positive attitudes toward breastfeeding. The evidence from this study supports the premise that education can improve attitudes toward breastfeeding.