Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale

 

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The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS; de la Mora, Russell, Dungy, Losch, & Dusdieker, 1998) can be utilized to measure maternal attitudes toward infant feeding methods (e.g., breast-feeding, formula-feeding).  The scale was designed to cover various dimensions of infant feeding.  For example, questions were written concerning the costs of infant feeding (e.g., “Formula feeding is more expensive than breast-feeding”), nutrition (e.g., “Breast milk is the ideal food for babies”), convenience (e.g., “Breast-feeding interferes with a couple’s sexual relationship”), and infant bonding (e.g., “Breast-feeding increases mother-infant bonding”).  Respondents are asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with each statement, on a five-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”  The scale consists of 17 items, with items worded so that approximately half of the questions are favorable toward breast-feeding and the remaining questions favorable toward formula-feeding.  These scores are then computed so that a high score reflects a preference for breast-feeding.

 

Studies conducted by de la Mora et al. (1998) support the reliability and validity of the IIFAS in assessing attitudes towards infant feeding methods.  Women in these studies either breast-fed (e.g. exclusively or partially) or formula-fed their infants.  The IIFAS appears to be very reliable, with Cronbach’s alpha ranging from .85 to .86.  The scale also appears to provide a valid assessment of attitudes toward infant feeding method.  It was able to differentiate between women who planned to breast-feed their infants versus women who planned to formula-feed their infants.

 

 A copy of the IIFAS along with our paper presenting psychometric data for the measure can be obtained by sending an e-mail message to drussell@iastate.edu; be sure to include your mailing.  We do request that, if you use the measure in your research, you send us a summary of your findings once you have completed your work.

 

References:

 

de la Mora, A., Russell, D. W., Dungy, C. I., Losch, M., & Dusdieker, L. (1999).  The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale:  Analysis of reliability and validity.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology 29(11), 2362-2380