Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Family dinners nourish good mental health in adolescents

Date:
March 20, 2013
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Regular family suppers contribute to good mental health in adolescents, according to a new study. Family meal times are a measurable signature of social exchanges in the home that benefit adolescents' well-being -- regardless of whether or not they feel they can easily talk to their parents.

Regular family suppers contribute to good mental health in adolescents, according to a study co-authored by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy. Family meal times are a measurable signature of social exchanges in the home that benefit adolescents' well-being -- regardless of whether or not they feel they can easily talk to their parents.

"More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioural problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviours towards others and higher life satisfaction," says Elgar, an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry, whose research centers on social inequalities in health and family influences on child mental health.

The study, conducted by Elgar, Wendy Craig and Stephen Trites of Queen's University, examined the relation between frequency of family dinners and positive and negative aspects of mental health. The researchers used a national sample of 26,069 adolescents aged 11 to 15 years who participated in the 2010 Canadian Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study. The researchers found the same positive effects of family meal time on the mental health of the young subjects, regardless of gender, age or family affluence.

"We were surprised to find such consistent effects on every outcome we studied," says Elgar. "From having no dinners together to eating together 7 nights a week, each additional dinner related to significantly better mental health."

During the study, the adolescents submitted data on the weekly frequency of family dinners, ease of parent-adolescent communication and five dimensions of mental health, including internalizing and externalizing problems, emotional well-being, more helpful behaviors and life satisfaction.

The authors suggest that family mealtimes are opportunities for open family interactions which present teaching opportunities for parents to shape coping and positive health behaviors such as good nutritional choices, as well as enable adolescents to express concerns and feel valued, all elements that are conducive to good mental health in adolescents.

The results of this research are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The Canadian Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study was part of a World Health Organization collaboration of 43 countries and was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Family dinners nourish good mental health in adolescents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320114955.htm>.
McGill University. (2013, March 20). Family dinners nourish good mental health in adolescents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320114955.htm
McGill University. "Family dinners nourish good mental health in adolescents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320114955.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins