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Does dinner make a strong family, or does a strong family make dinner?
Date:5/29/2012

es. Estimates are based on a sample of about 18,000 children from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health.

"Meals may afford a regular and positive context for parents to connect with children emotionally, to monitor their social and academic activities, and to convey values and expectations. This is what we suspect is driving any causal relationship between family dinners and child well being. But, family dinners also appear to be part and parcel of a broader package of practices, routines, and rituals that reflect parenting beliefs and priorities, and it's unclear how well family dinners would work unbundled from the rest of that package," said Musick.

The authors add that future work needs to go further in assessing which elements of mealtime may be most salient, looking beyond how often families eat together to examine whether talking, television, texting, eating the same food, or helping in the kitchen mediate or moderate the potential benefits of mealtime.


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Contact: Syl Kacapyr
vpk6@cornell.edu
607-255-7701
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

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