Is Breast Truly Best? Estimating the Effects of Breastfeeding on Long-term Child Health and Wellbeing in the United States Using Sibling Comparisons

Overview of attention for article published in Social Science & Medicine (1967)
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About this score

  • In the top 5% of all articles scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring articles from this source (#1 of 2,477)
  • High score compared to articles of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High score compared to articles of the same age and source (94th percentile)

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mendeley
46 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Article title
Is Breast Truly Best? Estimating the Effects of Breastfeeding on Long-term Child Health and Wellbeing in the United States Using Sibling Comparisons
Published in
Social Science & Medicine (1967)
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.027
Pubmed ID
Abstract

Breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are socially patterned. Previous research has documented startling racial and socioeconomic disparities in infant feeding practices. However, much of the empirical evidence regarding the effects of breastfeeding on long-term child health and wellbeing does not adequately address the high degree of selection into breastfeeding. To address this important shortcoming, we employ sibling comparisons in conjunction with 25 years of panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to approximate a natural experiment and more accurately estimate what a particular child's outcome would be if he/she had been differently fed during infancy. Results from standard multiple regression models suggest that children aged 4 to 14 who were breast- as opposed to bottle-fed did significantly better on 10 of the 11 outcomes studied. Once we restrict analyses to siblings and incorporate within-family fixed effects, estimates of the association between breastfeeding and all but one indicator of child health and wellbeing dramatically decrease and fail to maintain statistical significance. Our results suggest that much of the beneficial long-term effects typically attributed to breastfeeding, per se, may primarily be due to selection pressures into infant feeding practices along key demographic characteristics such as race and socioeconomic status.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 46 Mendeley readers of this article. Click here to see the article's page on the Mendeley website.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 4%
United Kingdom 1 2%
New Zealand 1 2%
Croatia 1 2%
Unknown 41 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Ph.D. Student 14 30%
Researcher (at a non-Academic Institution) 7 15%
Assistant Professor 5 11%
Student (Master) 4 9%
Student (Bachelor) 3 7%
Other 13 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine 16 35%
Biological Sciences 14 30%
Social Sciences 6 13%
Psychology 6 13%
Linguistics 1 2%
Other 3 7%

Score in context

This article has an Altmetric score of 383.73. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that this article has received. This score was calculated when the article was last mentioned on 19 May 2015.
All articles
#2,134
of 3,802,105 articles
Articles in Social Science & Medicine (1967)
#1
of 2,477 articles
Articles of similar age
#178
of 114,604 articles
Articles of similar age in Social Science & Medicine (1967)
#1
of 18 articles
Altmetric has tracked 3,802,105 articles across all sources so far. Compared to these this article has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all articles ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,477 articles from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean score of 6.1. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older articles will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this score to the 114,604 tracked articles that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this article to 18 articles from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.