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Family Time Activities and Adolescents' Emotional Well-being


  • This article was edited by Cheryl Buehler.

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52900, Israel (


The literature is divided on the issue of what matters for adolescents' well-being, with one approach focusing on quality and the other on routine family time. Using the experience sampling method, a unique form of time diary, and survey data drawn from the 500 Family Study (N = 237 adolescents with 8,122 observations), this study examined the association between family time and adolescents' emotional well-being as a function of the type of activities family members engaged in during their time together. Hierarchical linear model analyses revealed that eating meals together was beneficial to adolescents' emotional well-being, especially when fathers were present. Family leisure was also beneficial to teens' well-being. By contrast, productive family time (e.g., homework) was associated with lower emotional well-being, as was maintenance family time (e.g., household chores), but only when adolescents engaged in it with both parents.