Family Mealtime as a Context of Development and Socialization: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, No. 111

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-04-01
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass
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This issue examines the impact of family mealtime on the psychological development of young people. In the popular media, family mealtime is often presented as a vital institution for the socialization and development of young people, but also as one that is "going the way of the dinosaur." Although elements such as fast food and TV have become a part of many family mealtimes, evidence is beginning to suggest that mealtimes can also provide rich opportunities for children's and adolescents' development. While what happens at mealtimes varies greatly among families, an outline of the forms and functions of mealtimes is beginning to emerge from this research. In this issue, leading mealtime researchers from the fields of history, cultural anthropology, psycholinguistics, psychology, and nutrition critically review findings from each of their disciplines, giving primary focus on family mealtimes in the United States. The authors in this issue examine the history of family mealtimes, describe contemporary mealtime practices, elucidate the differing transactional processes that occur, and evaluate evidence on the outcomes associated with family mealtimes from children and adolescents. If you are a student, researcher, scholar, or professional interested in this topic, you will find this issue to be a valuable contribution to your existing knowledge of the subject. This is the 111th volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development.

Table of Contents

1. Forms and Functions of Family Mealtimes: Multidisciplinary Perspectives 1(16)
Reed W. Larson, Kathryn R. Branscomb, Angela R. Wiley
Family mealtime practices have changed in ways that allow them to provide richer opportunities for children's and adolescents' development.
2. "Everyone Would Be Around the Table": American Family Mealtimes in Historical Perspective, 1850-1960 17(18)
Simone Cinotto
The tradition of the family mealtime appeared only recently in the United States and was not practiced by a majority of families until the 1950's.
3. The Cultural Structuring of Mealtime Socialization 35(16)
Elinor Ochs, Merav Shohet
Family mealtimes engage children in cultural activities and meanings and, in so doing, create a context for their socialization as members of the culture.
4. Mealtime Talk That Supports Literacy Development 51(16)
Catherine E. Snow, Diane E. Beals
The extended explanations and narratives that occur in many families' mealtimes appear to provide a special and important opportunity for children's development of literacy.
5. Routine and Ritual Elements in Family Mealtimes: Contexts for Child Well-Being and Family Identity 67(24)
Barbara H. Fiese, Kimberly P. Foley, Mary Spagnola
When family members communicate directly and give meaning to mealtime activities, they contribute to a family's identity and to children's well-being.
6. Eating Among Teens: Do Family Mealtimes Make a Difference for Adolescents' Nutrition? 91(16)
Dianne Neumarh-Sztainer
Family meals can provide an orderly context for eating that is associated with better nutrition for teens and can facilitate their development of healthier eating patterns.

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