Breastfeeding and offspring's compassion and empathy in adulthood: A study with an over 30-year follow-up

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Sammanfattning

This study investigated whether breastfeeding predicts offspring’s dispositional compassion and empathy from early adulthood to middle age. The parents of the participants (N = 1,394) of the Young Finns study answered questions about breastfeeding in 1983, and the participants’ compassion and empathy were evaluated in 1997‒2012 (participants were aged 20‒50 years). Breastfeeding did not predict the course of compassion or empathy in adulthood at the age of 20‒50 years. The associations remained non‐significant, when adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic factors, and a wide range of characteristics of the family environment (including mother’s gestational age; premature birth; birth weight; number of other children at home; parental mental disorder; parental relationship status; parental postnatal smoking; parental postnatal alcohol use; parenting behavior; and child’s externalizing behavior). In conclusion, breastfeeding seems not to predict offspring’s compassion or empathy in adulthood. The findings may present a hopeful perspective for children growing up with non‐breastfeeding caregivers.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volym61
Utgåva2
Sidor (från-till)227-236
Antal sidor10
ISSN0036-5564
DOI
StatusPublicerad - apr 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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  • 515 Psykologi

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