In recent years we've heard that gathering regularly for a family dinner has all kinds of beneficial effects on our children, from improved academic performance to a lower incidence of drug use. But in a piece in last Sunday's New York Times, two researchers challenge those claims.
Their study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family,
looked at data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, a survey of about 18,000 teens, to analyze whether the frequency of family dinners had any impact on three factors: depressive symptoms, substance abuse and what the researchers called "delinquency." The study's findings: