The Effect of Breastfeeding Duration on Executive and Cognitive Functions at Healthy School Age Children

Research Article




Breastfeeding, , Executive Functions,, Cognition, Intelligence, , Child and Adolescent.


Breast milk is a natural food and contains all the nutrients the baby needs for healthy growth. The last trimester of the intrauterine period and the first 2 years of life are the periods which brain development peaks. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Arachidonic Acid (AA) accumulate in the membranes of brain cells during these periods when brain development peaks. DHA is particularly involved in the myelination process of the frontal lobe. In addition to DHA and AA, breast milk also contains cholesterol, sphingomyelin, phosphoditylcholine, which are necessary for myelin synthesis. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of duration of exclusively  breastfeeding on cognitive level and executive functions in school–aged children with no psychiatric complaint. A total of 71 children aged 8-13 years without any diagnosis constituted the study group. According to the duration of receiving only breast milk, they were separated into 2 groups as those who receive only breast milk for less than 6 months and those who receive breast milk for 6 months or more. The children’s executive functions were  assessed  with Stroop Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) respectively. After the executive function tests, verbal subtests of the WISC-R  including general knowledge and vocabulary and Performance subtests of the WISC-R  including Picture Completion, Picture Arrangement were applied to the children. In our study, the parent form of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to screen the mental status of children. In our study, we found that the duration of  exclusively breastfeeding did not have an effect on the cognitive level and executive functions of the child.

Author Biography

Osman Sabuncuoğlu, Marmara University Retired Lecturer İstanbul

Marmara Ünivesitesi Emekli Öğretim Üyesi


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How to Cite

Murat, D., & Sabuncuoğlu, O. (2023). The Effect of Breastfeeding Duration on Executive and Cognitive Functions at Healthy School Age Children: Research Article. Acta Medica Ruha, 1(3), 345–355.



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