Models, Theory and Applications
Chapter 7: Case study: using social cognitive theory and social support coping theory to improve breastfeeding duration rates: MumBubConnect
In this case study, social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986, 2004) and social support as a way of coping (Vitaliano et al., 1985) have been selected to overcome barriers created by low levels of self-confidence and perceived lack of support in the context of breastfeeding. Thus, the application of the two theories in this case study is designed to improve the mothers’ self-efficacy and reinforce the behaviour of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life (WHO, 2001); however, in Australia (as with many developed countries), breastfeeding duration declines rapidly after three months. A total of 47 per cent of infants are fully breastfed to three months, reducing to 21 per cent being predominantly breastfed to five months (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2011a). The national significance of breastfeeding is noted with the release of the National Breastfeeding Strategy in late 2009, which aimed to improve the health of infants, young children and mothers by protecting, promoting, supporting and monitoring breastfeeding (National Health and Medical Research Council [NHMRC], 2013). It is critical that Australia addresses the poor continuation of breastfeeding to protect the next generation of Australians against acute and chronic diseases. A social marketing programme was therefore developed that aimed to test the effect of a technology-based intervention on breastfeeding duration. The intervention was conducted in Australia with participants from every state.
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