Regularly eating meals with the family could lead to development of good mental health among adolescents, a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health has revealed.
Researchers at Queen's University and McGill University used data from the 2010 Canadian Health Behavior in School-Aged Children study in which more than 26,000 children between 11 and 15 years of age took part.
The participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire that assessed their psychological well being and the researchers compared the responses with the number of times the whole family sat together during mealtimes.
The researchers found that a higher number of instances where the family had meals together were linked with more positive responses from the participants. "More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional wellbeing, more trusting and helpful behaviors towards others and higher life satisfaction", lead researcher Frank Elgar said.