On the Positive Relationship Between Breastfeeding & Intelligence

Brian B. Boutwell, Jacob Young, Ryan C. Meldrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

sA wealth of literature has examined the association between breastfeeding and the development of cognitive abilities in childhood. In particular, at least some evidence exists suggesting that breastfed children perform better on measures of intelligence later in life. Although a correlation appears to be present, fewer observational studies have included appropriate adjustment for potentially confounding variables; maternal intelligence, maternal education, and cognitive stimulation provided by mothers being chief among them. As a result, we analyze a national sample of approximately 790 American respondents to test the association between breastfeeding and intelligence during childhood and adolescence using multiple intelligence tests and controlling for a range of key covariates. Our results suggest that the correlation between breastfeeding throughout the first six months of life and intelligence is statistically significant and consistent, yet of substantively minor impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 28 2018

Fingerprint

Breast Feeding
Intelligence
intelligence
Mothers
childhood
intelligence test
Intelligence Tests
Aptitude
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
cognitive ability
adolescence
Observational Studies
Education
evidence
education

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • Development
  • Intelligence
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

On the Positive Relationship Between Breastfeeding & Intelligence. / Boutwell, Brian B.; Young, Jacob; Meldrum, Ryan C.

In: Developmental Psychology, 28.06.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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