University of Oulu

Saarinen, A. I. L., Keltikangas‐Järvinen, L., Honda, Y., Oksman, E., Raitakari, O., Pulkki‐Råback, L. & Hintsanen, M. (2020). Breastfeeding and offspring’s compassion and empathy in adulthood: A study with an over 30‐year follow‐up. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 61, 227– 236.

Breastfeeding and offspring’s compassion and empathy in adulthood : a study with an over 30‐year follow‐up

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Author: Saarinen, Aino I. L.1,2; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa2; Honda, Yukiko3,4;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
3Global Cooperation Institute for Sustainable Cities, Yokohama City University, Japan
4Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, School of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan
5Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Finland
6Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2020101484101
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-12-10
Description:

Abstract

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.

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Series: Scandinavian journal of psychology
ISSN: 0036-5564
ISSN-E: 1467-9450
ISSN-L: 0036-5564
Volume: 61
Issue: 2
Pages: 227 - 236
DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12600
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1111/sjop.12600
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
Subjects:
Funding: This study was supported financially by the Academy of Finland (M.H., grant numbers 308676 and 258578); Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (M.H.); the Jenny and Antti Wiguri Foundation (L.P.‐R.); and Mannerheim League for Child Welfare’s Research Foundation and Finnish Cultural Foundation (E.O.). The Young Finns Study has been financially supported by the Academy of Finland: Grants 286284, 134309 (Eye), 126925, 121584, 124282, 129378 (Salve), 117797 (Gendi), and 41071 (Skidi); the Social Insurance Institution of Finland; Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Kuopio, Tampere and Turku University Hospitals (grant X51001); the Juho Vainio Foundation; the Sigrid Juselius Foundation; the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation; the Paavo Nurmi Foundation; the Finnish Foundation of Cardiovascular Research and Finnish Cultural Foundation; the Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation; the Emil Aaltonen Foundation; and Diabetes Research Foundation of Finnish Diabetes Association.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 308676
Detailed Information: 308676 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Saarinen, A. I. L., Keltikangas‐Järvinen, L., Honda, Y., Oksman, E., Raitakari, O., Pulkki‐Råback, L. & Hintsanen, M. (2020). Breastfeeding and offspring’s compassion and empathy in adulthood: A study with an over 30‐year follow‐up. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 61, 227– 236., which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12600. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."