Engaging in regular family dinners protected against the harmful effects of the pandemic by increasing emotional closeness and providing dependability.
Multiple studies conducted over the past twenty years, including several by leading family meals scholar Barbara Fiese, have found that families who eat meals together several times a week are positively impacted physically, emotionally, relationally, and mentally. In particular, a long list of benefits is attributed to children and teens: including better academic performance, higher self-esteem, a greater sense of resilience, lower risk of substance abuse, lower risk of depression, and lower rates of obesity (e.g., Armstrong-Carter & Telzer, 2020; Fiese et al., 2012). The positive influences of regular family dinners are diverse and significant.
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