Do Family Dinners Cut Teen Drug Use?

According to earlier studies, having dinner together as a family can help families eat healthier, have meaningful conversation and keep teens from obtaining drug and delinquency problems. However, later studies revealed other factors that have more to do with adolescent issues, which the amount of family dinners had no effect on. 

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell


What’s the Latest Development?

In the United States, the fourth Monday in September is “Family Day-A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children." It was initiated by President Barack Obama as a way to fight adolescent drug problems. According to new data, the study of teen behavior over a longer period of time than previous studies, it revealed that there was not a significant amount of teenagers who dined with their family that were less likely to get into trouble or caught up with drugsin comparison to the teenagers that did not engage in a routine family-style dining. The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health studied the behavior of about 18,000 teens from ages 12-18 in 1994-95, and then the same group was queried after a good, full year in adulthood, and then for a third time in 2003-04. When researchers reviewed the data of the teens that ate frequently with their families they were “18% less likely to use drugs than teens that ate with their families on two or fewer evenings.” However, the information on the study group as adults, the change in their dinner habits had no real impact on drug usewhen taking into account the families that had good relationships had more meals together and tended to be less likely to have drug or delinquency issues. Researchers say there are many other factors involved that influence problematic behavior, such as teens with drug and alcohol-addicted parents, disengaged parents, a home environment where family conflict exists, families dealing with economic hardships or parents with very demanding jobs that prevent them from being home for dinnerso a direct link between “family dinners and young adult outcomes” could not be detected.

What’s the Big Idea? 

To sit down as a family for dinner more often than not is a great way for parents to keep up on what is going on in the lives of their children; it is also a good way to establish a good family relationship. However, whether or not a teen becomes addicted to drugs or has delinquency issues cannot be determined by the number of times a family eats dinner together in a week. There are too many factors involved as to what could make a teen go down the wrong path—whether those factors are within the familial environment or outside of the home in their social environment.  

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less