A new report that was published revealed that teens who ate dinner with their family were less likely to engage in risky behavior or use drugs.
The report "The Importance of Family Dinners VII" was published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University and highlighted the positive aspects that are produced by children spending time with their family.
"Parental engagement in children's lives is key to raising healthy, drug-free kids and one of the simplest acts of parental engagement is sitting down to the family dinner," according to a statement by Joseph A. Califano Jr., CASA's chairman and founder.
"Seventeen years of surveying teens has taught us that the more often children have dinner with their families the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs," he added.
The study compared adolescents who spent around 21 hours or more per week with their parents with those who only spent about seven hours or less per week with their family.
The results showed those teens who spent less time with their parents were twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than those teens who had dinner with their families five to seven times a week.
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Adolescents who were with their families less than three times a week were four times more likely to use tobacco and more than twice as likely to use alcohol and marijuana, according to the report.
"Family meals are the strongest factor that we've come across in any activity that families do," William Doherty, a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, told ABC. "It really tops them all as a predictor and contributor of a wide range of positive behavior."
58 percent of teenagers in the U.S. eat dinner with their family about five times a week, according to the report. The results also showed that those teenagers who eat with their family were also more likely to spend more time with their family overall.