Cyberbullying was associated with mental health and substance use problems in adolescents but family dinners may help protect teens from the consequences of cyberbullying and
also be beneficial for their mental health.
About 1 in 5 adolescents has experienced recent online bullying and cyberbullying, like traditional bullying, can increase the risk of mental health problems in teens as well as the misuse of drugs and alcohol. It is important to understand whether cyberbullying contributes uniquely to mental health and substance use problems independent of its overlap with traditional face-to-face bullying. Family dinners are an outlet of support for adolescents.
Family dinners appeared to moderate the relationship between cyberbullying and the mental health and substance use problems. For example, with four or more family dinners per week there was about a 4-fold difference in the rates of total problems between no cyberbullying victimization and frequent victimization. When there were no dinners the difference was more than 7-fold.
Lisa and I talk a lot about the power of rituals to impact family well-being on our radio program and in Parenting with Grace. For more simple ideas for how you can powerfully impact the well-being of your family, check it out.