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Cross-sectional study
Maternal extraversion, emotional stability and conscientiousness are associated with initiation and continuation of breastfeeding
  1. Debra Bick,
  2. Yan-Shing Chang
  1. Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Debra Bick, King's College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA, UK; debra.bick{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Understanding maternal trait personality could inform targeted interventions for women identified as requiring additional breastfeeding support and help to facilitate discussion of barriers to breastfeeding.

  • Further research is needed to explore the impact of maternal personality on effectiveness of interventions designed to increase coping strategies and influence of social networks among women who wish to start and continue to breastfeed.


It is well established that influences on breastfeeding initiation and duration are multifactorial. These include sociodemographic factors, environmental context, maternal confidence and self-efficacy, social and emotional support, personality and beliefs about benefits of breastfeeding.1–3 Although some empirical studies have suggested that personality is associated with infant-feeding decisions, these have tended to be small-scale, …

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  • Competing interests None.