246265 It's time for dinner! Associations between demographics and eating dinners as a family

Monday, October 31, 2011

Margie Skeer, ScD, MPH, MSW , Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Matthew J. Mimiaga, ScD, MPH , Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA
Jessica Nargiso, PhD , Department of Community Health, Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Providence, RI
Introduction: Adolescent substance use prevention is a national public health priority. Multiple studies demonstrate that adolescents who eat dinner regularly with their families have a reduced risk for smoking, alcohol, and other drug use. However, no studies have examined the prospective association between demographic characteristics and eating family dinners, which can be an important intervention strategy. Methods: Data included 2,092 children aged 1-10 from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. The primary outcome was parental report of regular family dinners, defined as eating >4 family dinners/week on average, measured seven-years post-baseline. Independent baseline characteristics included: age group, gender, race/ethnicity, parental education, parental marital status, family structure, family socio-economic status (SES), and perception of neighborhood SES. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses with generalized estimating equations were conducted. Results: Two-thirds of parents reported eating>4 dinners/week with their children. In the final multivariable model adjusting for all baseline characteristics, compared to white-identified adolescents, Hispanic-identified adolescents had a reduced odds of eating >4 dinners (OR: 0.90; CI: 0.80-0.99), and as did children of parents reporting living in low (OR: 0.90; CI: 0.82-0.99) and middle SES (OR: 0.89; CI: 0.81-0.98) neighborhoods compared to high. Conclusions: Eating >4 family dinners/week has been associated with a reduced risk of adolescent substance use. Interventions strategies around eating dinners should target Latino populations and those living in lower perceived SES communities, as the reduced odds of eating dinners may be related to social norms, and these factors could moderate the risk for substance use and misuse.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the connection between eating family dinners and adolescent substance use prevention. 2. Identify demographic characteristics associated eating less than 5 dinners per week as a family.

Keywords: Prevention, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and study adolescent substance use prevention
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.