Family Dinner Index (FDI)

What is the Family Dinner Index?

It asks a series of Likert-scale questions based on the themes that emerged around three major topic areas from a qualitative study:

First – Feelings about family dinners

Second Meal rules and rituals

Third – Use of technology and communication during meals

The FDI is a survey for both parents and children that asks about factors such as feelings associated with meals, expectations around meals, and who was at the meal, as well as the frequency of meals.

How was the FDI developed?

  1. Conducted a qualitative study of family meals with parent and child dyads to explore different dimensions of family meals, beyond frequency, that may be important protective factors for youth risk- and weight-related outcomes to examine in quantitative studies
  2. Held semi-structured and open-ended interviews with parents and children separately; participants were 37 children aged 6–16 and their parent/guardian (74 participants in total)
  3. Analyzed this data to create themes and ultimately the FDI

Skeer, M. R., Sonneville, K. R., Deshpande, B. R., Goodridge, M. C., & Folta, S. C. (2018). Going beyond frequency: A qualitative study to explore new dimensions for the measurement of family meals. Journal of Child and Family Studies27(4), 1075-1087.