Validation of a Theory of Planned Behavior-Based Questionnaire to Examine Factors Associated with Milk Expression

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Background: A proper assessment of multidimensional needs for breastfeeding mothers in various settings is crucial to facilitate and support breastfeeding and its exclusivity. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) has been used frequently to measure factors associated with breastfeeding. Full utility of the TPB requires accurate measurement of theory constructs. Research aim: This study aimed to develop and confirm the psychometric properties of an instrument, Milk Expression on Campus, based on the TPB and to establish the reliability and validity of the instrument. Methods: In spring 2015, 218 breastfeeding (current or in the recent past) employees and students at one university campus in northern New Jersey completed the online questionnaire containing demography and theory-based items. Internal consistency (α) and split-half reliability (r) tests and factor analyses established and confirmed the reliability and construct validity of this instrument. Results: Milk Expression on Campus showed strong and significant reliabilities as a full scale (α =.78, r =.74, p <.001) and theory construct subscales. Validity was confirmed as psychometric properties corresponded to the factors extracted from the scale. Four factors extracted from the direct construct subscales accounted for 79.49% of the total variability. Four distinct factors from the indirect construct subscales accounted for 73.68% of the total variability. Conclusion: Milk Expression on Campus can serve as a model TPB-based instrument to examine factors associated with women's milk expression behavior. The utility of this instrument extends to designing effective promotion programs to foster breastfeeding and milk expression behaviors in diverse settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-665
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding barriers
  • breastfeeding support
  • human milk expression
  • pumping
  • theory of planned behavior


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