Family dinners: do they contribute to your mental health?

Because of the lockdown, you might be spending more time at home. This could also mean more time for family dinners. What good do family dinners do for you mental health? Elgar et al. (2013) conducted a study on this topic. To figure out what the influence of family dinners are on the mental health of adolescents, they looked at a population of 26,069 participants between the ages of 11 and 15 years old. Those participants delivered self-reported data on how often they have a family dinner, how easily they can talk with their parents, and about their mental health: how satisfied they are with life, if they internalize or externalize problems, their emotional well-being, and selflessness. The frequency of family dinners and the communication between the child and parents were compared to the scores on mental health.

According to the study, family dinners have a very positive effect on the mental health of an adolescent. The more family dinners you have in a week, the better the outcomes. Internalizing and externalizing problems lower and well-being, life satisfaction, and prosocial behavior rise. So, more family dinners could be a good idea.

Elgar, F. J., Craig, W., & Trites, S. J. (2013). Family Dinners, Communication, and Mental Health in Canadian Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health52(4), 433–438.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *