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J Hum Lact. 1994 Mar;10(1):25-30.

Cultural views of breastfeeding among high-school female students in Japan and the United States: a survey.


This study compares the attitudes toward breastfeeding of high-school students in Japan and the United States. The study was conducted as a cross-sectional survey with a convenience sample (N = 329). Data were collected in 1989 and 1990 at two private, girls-only high schools (Tokyo, Japan and Farmington, Michigan). Retrieval rates were 100 percent (Tokyo) and 78 percent (Michigan) respectively. Responses were compared by the chi-square (chi 2) test with Yate's correction and factor analyses. Tokyo students perceived that their mothers talked positively about breastfeeding (54 percent), while only 17 percent of Michigan students reported that their mothers did so (< .001). Less than five percent of the Tokyo students felt that breastfeeding disturbs family life, whereas nearly 98 percent of the Michigan students felt so (p < .001). Tokyo students scored significantly higher on the 'family' factor, while the Michigan students scored significantly higher on the 'self' factor. Overall, this study indicates that high school students in Japan have more positive attitudes toward breastfeeding than students in the United States; however, teenagers in the United States are more interested than their Japanese age-mates in gaining information about breastfeeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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