Psychometric Assessment of the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis in Malawian Mothers

Roselyn Chipojola, Cindy Lee Dennis, Shu Yu Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months postpartum has been related to breastfeeding self-efficacy in diverse populations. Globally, this is measured using the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale–Short Form (BSES-SF). Research Aim: To evaluate the psychometric properties of the BSES-SF among women in Malawi; and to examine the relationship between breastfeeding self-efficacy and demographic and health factors. Methods: The study design was a prospective, cross-sectional survey with a 2 week follow-up reliability check. Postpartum women (N = 180) were recruited at a maternity hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. In addition to the BSES-SF, the World Health Organization's Quality of Life Scale (QoL) was also administered. Furthermore, confirmatory factor analysis, Cronbach's alpha, and Pearson's correlations were used to examine the construct validity, reliability, test-retest reliability, and convergent validity. Results: The confirmatory factor analysis supported a unidimensional structure of the Malawian version of the 12-item BSES-SF. Cronbach's alpha and the intra-class correlation coefficient were 0.79 and 0.75, respectively. BSES-SF scores had significant correlation with QoL domains (physical QoL: r = 0.31, p <.001; and environmental QoL: r = 0.22, p <.01). Participants’ age, parity, and mode of delivery were positively correlated with breastfeeding self-efficacy scores. Conclusion: The findings of our study confirmed that the 12-item BSES-SF is a reliable and valid scale for assessing women’s breastfeeding self-efficacy in Malawi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Africa
  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding self-efficacy
  • Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale–Short Form
  • postpartum
  • Quality of Life Scale
  • reliability
  • survey
  • translating measurement instruments
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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