Examination of explicit and implicit emotions and relationship with the intention to support breastfeeding in public: a descriptive study

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Abstract

Objectives: Current social norms in the United States do not favor breastfeeding in public. This study examined associations between college students’ explicit and implicit emotions of breastfeeding in public and their intention to support public breastfeeding. Methods: Twenty-two student participants viewed images of a breastfeeding woman with a fully-covered, fully-exposed, or partially-exposed breast in a public setting. After viewing each image, participants’ explicit emotions (self-reported) of the image were measured using a questionnaire and their implicit emotions (facial expression) were measured using FaceReader technology. We examined if a relationship exists between both emotions [toward images] and intention to support breastfeeding in public using correlation techniques. We determined the relative influence of two emotions on the intention to support breastfeeding in public using regression analyses. Results: The nursing images depicting a fully-covered breast (r = 0.425, P =0.049 vs. r = 0.271, P = 0.222) and fully-exposed breast (r = 0.437, P = 0.042 vs. r = 0.317, P = 0.150) had stronger associations with explicit emotions and intention to support breastfeeding in public compared to implicit emotions and intention. Breastfeeding knowledge was associated with a positive explicit emotion for images with partial-(β = 0.60, P = 0.003) and full-breast exposure (β = 0.65, P = 0.002). Conclusions: Explicit emotions appear to drive stated intentions to support public breastfeeding. Further research is needed to understand the disconnect between explicit and implicit emotions, the factors that influence these emotions, and whether stated intentions lead to consistent behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalKorean Journal of Community Nutrition
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • emotions
  • FaceReader
  • public support
  • social norms

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