Researchers from McGill University in Montreal have found that teens in families who eat dinner together on a regular basis are “….more trusting and generally more emotionally stable compared to those who don’t.” Their research is published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. In a study of more than 26, 000 teens aged 11 to 15 years, researchers found a positive mental health effect among those who had regular family dinners, regardless of gender, age or socioeconomic status. In addition, these positive effects were experienced even if the teens were not comfortable talking with their parents. Study authors suggest that the routine, consistency and good eating habits derived from regular family dinners, as well as the sense of belonging and value were important factors in contributing to teen mental health.
You can read the article, “Family Dinners, Communication and Mental Health in Canadian Adolescents” on the Journal of Adolescent Health site.