Over the years, all of us have heard that family meals are a great way of spending time together and strengthening social bonds. However, some scientists say that this may not be so important after all, once several factors are taken into account.
Cornell University investigators found that the benefits of eating together are neither as long lasting, nor as strong, as previous researches led people to believe. The team carried out this study by looking at the behaviors of teens, particularly depression, delinquency and drug use.
“We find that most of the association between family meals and teen well-being is due to other aspects of the family environment. Analyses that follow children over time lend even weaker evidence for causal effects of family meals on adolescent and young adult well-being,” Kelly Musick, PhD, says.
For those interested in this study, details of the work were published in the latest issue of the esteemed Journal of Marriage and Family, PsychCentral