Dining regularly with the family contributes to good mental health in adolescents

Regular dining with the family contributes to good mental health in adolescents, as evidenced by research conducted by the University of Queen (Canada) and published by the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In particular, this work shows that the social exchanges that take place during the night feeding cause well-being in the minors, "regardless of whether they have confidence or not to talk with their parents". This is confirmed by one of the authors of the study and a member of this Canadian university center, Professor Frank Elgar McGill.

In his opinion, dining with the rest of the family members "is related to a smaller number of emotional and behavioral problems, as well as greater feelings of trust and usefulness towards others." These events provoke "a greater satisfaction with life", sums up.


To reach these conclusions, researchers have examined the relationship between the frequency of family dinners and the positive and negative aspects of mental health in 26,069 adolescents between 11 and 15 years. After this, they have found that these cause these good effects "regardless of gender, age or family wealth."

Finally, experts point out that family dinners are good opportunities "for parents to interact with their children and teach them good nutritional behaviors". In addition, they are useful to "allow adolescents to express their concerns and make them feel valued," concludes Elgar McGill.

Video: Time to talk - a parent's perspective on children's mental illness: Liza Long at TEDxSanAntonio 2013


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