Korean J Fam Pract 2020; 10(3): 215-222  https://doi.org/10.21215/kjfp.2020.10.3.215
The Influence of Family Mealtime on Early Adolescents’ Assessment of Their Depression and Family Function
Sonjae Kim1, Eun Jung Choi1,*, Sang Yeoup Lee2, Haegyun Lee1
1Department of Family Medicine, Daedong Hospital; 2Family Medicine Clinic and Research Institute of Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Busan, Korea
Eun Jung Choi
Tel: +82-51-550-9373, Fax: +82-51-553-7575
E-mail: ej_jump@hanmail.net
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8012-5473
Received: April 17, 2020; Accepted: May 13, 2020; Published online: June 20, 2020.
© The Korean Academy of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of family mealtime and family structure on family functioning and early adolescents’ depression.
Methods: A survey was conducted with a sample of 275 middle school students in the Gangdong-gu district, Seoul. APGAR scores and Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) scale were used to measure family functioning and depression level, respectively, along with six more questions to collect data on family structure, family mealtimes, and adolescents’ reasons for avoiding family meals. Statistical analyses including t-test, one-way ANOVA and twoway ANOVA were employed to examine the influence of family mealtime, family structure and sex on family functioning and depression levels.
Results: The analyses revealed that family structure and environmental factors, such as parental presence and educational attainment did not influence family functioning or adolescent depression, while variables related to family mealtime influenced both depression level and family functioning. Results also showed that females were more vulnerable to depression.
Conclusion: It was concluded that having family time during meals improves family functioning and helps decrease depression levels of adolescent family members. Therefore, parents should take care that they have regular family mealtimes with children, especially female children, during their adolescence.
Keywords: Mealtime; Family Functioning; Adolescent; Depression
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