Family Facts #37

The more often teenagers have dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs. In fact, compared with teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have dinner with their families only two nights per week or less are at double the risk of substance abuse. Compared with teens who have dinner with their families only two nights per week or less, those who have family dinners five or more nights in a typical week are more likely to report that they have never tried cigarettes (85 percent vs. 65 percent), almost 50 percent likelier to report that they have never tried alcohol (68 percent vs. 47 percent), and more likely to report that they have never tried marijuana (88 percent vs. 71 percent).

“The Importance of Family Dinners”
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
CASA Survey Report: The Importance of Family Dinners Vol. NA, Number . September, 2003. Page(s) 3, 7.

Published by

Joe Carter

Joe Carter founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005. He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tribune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicaton.

  • Pastor Rob Singleton

    This seems like common sense, however, the fact that so few families pratice eating dinner together tells me we really don’t get it.
    Our church has around 4,000 people and I beat this message home like a worn out drum but it’s a tough one to get into people’s (especially fathers) frontal lobe!
    Anyway, Great post and blog.
    Hey Bishop Alan, if it’s not too much trouble can I ask you a favor to help my own limping blog along?
    I’m frustrated with my blog because even though I have close to 1,000 readers a day, I still have a very low authority on Technorati. I want people to see this beyond North Carolina, but I guess I don’t know how to get people to link and that seems to be the issue. I mean, I’ve learned that this is because I don’t have enough links to my blog site.
    Why does this matter? Because I want to start reaching out to people beyond just our church, and to do that I need to get this blog up higher on the search engines.
    Would it be too pushy to ask if you’d be willing to put in a link exchange with me at If so, please send me an email to showing me where you’ve linked it and I will do the same. I know you will want to make sure we are on the up and up, so please check out our church, and my blog to see if you would be comfortable with doing this. I’ve seen enough and know that I am.
    Look forward to hearing from you!
    Pastor Rob Singleton

  • Pastor Rob Singleton

    Hi JP
    I saw from the comment I left that i left another friend’s name on it that I was writing to.
    Unless you often go by the name, Bishop Alan, I’m thinking that went over like a ton of bricks!
    Anyway, I hope you will still consider helping me learn how to get the good news out more effectively on my blog.
    Take care and God bless!
    Pastor Rob