Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Family, Consumer, and Human Development
Jay D. Schvaneveldt
The overall purpose of this study was to assess family patterns in regard to food practices and family rituals that occur in all families. Specifically, four major purposes were considered in this study: (a) to learn more about generational food practices and how they are passed from one generation to the next, (b) to analyze demographic factors in relation to food related practices, (c) to understand the role of family ritual in family food practices, and (d) to learn how family food practices impact the dietary patterns for society at large.
The data were obtained in February am March of 1986 from Idaho state University students via an 11-page questionnaire. The sample included 20 Young married couples with a child at least two years of age and both sets of their parents. Information was gathered from the grandparent generation by asking questions of the parent generation considering their home of origin.
The major findings of this study were:
1. Parental example was the largest factor in food habits, with mothers having the greatest impact between the parents. When considering special eating styles and settings, mothers were more likely to pass information across generations than fathers. Mothers have been, and are still, the major menu planners and meal preparers; but fathers I influence on food habits has increased over time, especially when considering what is served to the family. Mothers desire more fixed meal scheduling than fathers or other family members.
2. The average time spent at meals has decreased over time, and saying grace at meals has increased across time.
3. The second generation was the most influential generation in celebrating holidays with special eating styles and patterns.
4. Televisions and microwave ovens are having a major impact on families over time. With increased ownership of microwaves, there is an increase of snacking instead of having regular meals. Television viewing at meal time has increased dramatically over time. A major implication of this study is to provide food and nutrition educational programs that teach all family members the central concepts that can be applied in the changing daily eating practices.
Liddil, Audrey Crawford, "Food Practices and Ritual in the Family Across Three Generations" (1987). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 2698.
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