Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mathews, Rahel

Committee Member

Tolar-Peterson, Terezie

Committee Member

Pylate, Leah

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


Breastfeeding rates in America are lower than other high-income countries, with Mississippi having one of the lowest rates. A survey using the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) was distributed twice to Mississippi State University students to understand their breastfeeding attitudes. Attitudes were determined by calculating a composite score and conducting statistical tests for significance. Knowledge between health and non-health related majors were explored by using five statements, and attitudes towards the statement “Breastmilk is the ideal food for babies” were compared across demographics. Of 642 respondents, the composite score was 57.3 out of 85, and all demographics had a neutral score (between 49-69). All demographics agreed that “Breastmilk is the ideal food for babies” and health (46.1%) and non-health related majors (53%) had similar knowledge towards breastfeeding. College students may become parents, so understanding their attitudes can provide insight into their feeding methods and educational needs.