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The demise of the family meal? Evidence from the Antipodes

Dziurawiec, S., Tilbury, F., Gallegos, D. and Abernethie, L. (2007) The demise of the family meal? Evidence from the Antipodes. In: Annual Conference of the Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences, 30 May - 2 June 2007, Honolulu pp. 709-728.

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Popular discourse suggests that family meals are becoming increasingly rare and that their disappearance is contributing to the rising level of childhood obesity and to diminished family functioning, with negative psychosocial outcomes for children and adolescents. Evidence from research studies on the function of family mealtimes has failed to support such strong claims. What little is known about the social, cultural, nutritional and psychosocial impact of family meals is based on the mealtime practices of American families. This paper presents data from a survey of 625 adolescents drawn from schools in the metropolitan region of Perth, Western Australia . Using an online questionnaire, adolescents were asked about their current family meal practices and their ideas about family meals, as well as about their own activities, their health and wellbeing, and their sense of family connectedness. Relationships between various demographic factors, family and individual level variables, health indicators and eating practices are presented and issues regarding the methodology are described.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
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