While most prior research has focused on the frequency of family meals the issue of which elements of family mealtime are most salient for adolescents' well-being has remained overlooked. The current study used the experience sampling method, a unique form of time diary, and survey data drawn from the 500 Family Study (. N=237 adolescents with 8122 observations) to examine the association between family mealtime communication and teens' emotional well-being. Results showed that in approximately half of the time spent on family meals (3h per week on average) adolescents reported talking to their parents. Hierarchical linear model analyses revealed that controlling for the quality of family relationships family mealtime communication was significantly associated with higher positive affect and engagement and with lower negative affect and stress. Findings suggest that family meals constitute an important site for communication between teens and parents that is beneficial to adolescents' emotional well-being.
- Adolescent well-being
- Family meals
- Family mealtime communication
- Multilevel models