Family Dinners a Protective Factor for Teenagers
|November 7, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Drug and Alcohol, Research, Youth Development||
Perhaps it is no surprise that with our fast-paced, over-scheduled lives we have to be reminded of a very basic way to improve health and lower delinquency risks for our children. Studies link the simple event of dining together as a family with improved outcomes for children’s health, and now, according to a report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Use (CASA) at Columbia University, a lowered risk for drug and alcohol use.
The report, The Importance of Family Dinners VII, claims that teenagers who have family dinners less than 3 times a week are approximately 4 times more likely to use tobacco products and 2 times more likely to drink alcohol than peers who eat dinners with their families 5 to 7 times each week. Teenagers who reported less than 3 family dinners a week also had easier access to alcohol, prescription drugs and marijuana than their peers and were 4 times more likely to use illegal drugs in the future. Researchers at CASA note that the key piece to family dinners appears to be the time spent with a parent or parents and routine communication between parents and children and among siblings.
The complete report is available for download at the CASA website.