Financial benefits for child health and well‐being in low income or socially disadvantaged families in high-income countries

Added April 28, 2020

Citation: Lucas PJ, McIntosh K, Petticrew M, et al. Financial benefits for child health and well‐being in low income or socially disadvantaged families in developed world countries. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2008; 4(1): 1-93

What is this: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may require governments to consider providing financial support to poor families to ensure children’s health, well‐being and educational attainment.

In this Campbell systematic review, the authors searched for randomised or quasi‐randomised trials assessing the effects of direct provision of additional monies to socially or economically disadvantaged families in improving children’s health, well‐being and educational attainment, in high-income countries. They did not restrict by type or language of publication and did their search up to August 2006. They included 9 randomised trials (more than 25,000 participants), with 8 studies from the USA and 1 from Canada.

What was found: The evidence included in this review did not show an effect on child outcomes in the short to medium term in response to direct financial benefits to families

Direct benefits of financial support to families and improvement in child health outcome are uncertain because most studies had small effects on total household income and had no conditions attached to how the money was spent.

Given that increased financial resources are thought to be critical to the reduction of child poverty in many countries, it is uncertain whether any effects are the consequence of long term material deprivation that could be remedied in the short term by the provision of increased financial resources.

It is important to monitor effects of these programs on child health and education.


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