Research suggests that a myriad of benefits occur when children eat meals with their families, but the frequency at which families eat meals together varies greatly. The present study examined factors that influence parents’ family meal behaviors. It was expected that variables from the theory of planned behavior (TPB), which include attitudes, perceived behavioral control (PBC), subjective norms, and behavioral intentions, would be important predictors of parents’ family meal behaviors. In addition, an experimental manipulation used priming paragraphs to investigate possible directions for interventions to promote family meals. Participants were 208 parents of children under the age of 18. Correlational analyses revealed that PBC and subjective norms were significantly correlated with parents’ actual family meal behavior. Furthermore, a linear regression showed that PBC predicted family meal behavior. The priming paragraph conditions did not elicit significant differences in TPB variable scores, although one attitude condition approached significance. Overall, the findings have implications for possible interventions targeting increased family meal frequency, and they provide interesting insight into factors that may play roles in family meal frequency differences.


Clayton, Susan






Family Meals, Theory of Planned Behavior, Parents

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Emma W. Nathanson