Families sharing meals have happier kids

October 12, 2005

An Emery University study shows families regularly sharing evening meals have children who have higher self-esteem and interact better with their peers.

The research by two Emory University psychology professors suggests families who regularly eat meals together have children who know more about their family history and tend to have higher self-esteem, interact better with their peers and show higher resilience in the face of adversity.

In addition, the researchers say they determined families who openly discuss emotions associated with negative events, such as the death of a relative or a pet, have children with higher self-esteem and sense of control.

The findings come from Emory psychology professors Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke, faculty fellows at the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life.

The three-year study focused on 40 families from Atlanta who tape recorded dinnertime conversations and later answered questions that allowed researchers to measure how well each family functions.

Duke worries that many families have abandoned the family meal, and may be losing the benefits that help nurture resilient children. "The time we spend with the family at the dinner times should be held sacred," he says.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: When women have access to family planning, income rises and poverty drops

Related Stories

Shaming overweight kids only makes things worse

November 20, 2017

(HealthDay)—Overweight kids who are shamed or stigmatized are more likely to binge eat or isolate themselves than to make positive changes such as losing weight, a leading pediatricians' group says.

Breast milk found to protect against food allergy

November 20, 2017

Eating allergenic foods during pregnancy can protect your child from food allergies, especially if you breastfeed, suggests new research from Boston Children's Hospital. The study, published online today in the Journal of ...

How emotional and economic abuse go hand-in-hand

November 20, 2017

People who have been in an abusive relationship often don't realise it until they've left it, so looking at the data on past relationships is the best way of getting a picture of how bad it can be. We find that emotional ...

Recommended for you

World's smallest tape recorder is built from microbes

November 23, 2017

Through a few clever molecular hacks, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have converted a natural bacterial immune system into a microscopic data recorder, laying the groundwork for a new class of technologies ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.