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 COVID-19 pandemic and its associated measures have led to job losses and reductions in family income, placing more families in financial difficulties. School and business closures are also keeping children at home, and may increase family stress and negatively affect children’s well-being.  Existing research on financial benefits for child health might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this Campbell systematic review, the authors searched for studies of the effects of financial benefits for socioeconomically disadvantaged families. They did not restrict their searches by date or language of publication and did their most recent search in June 2006. They included nine randomised trials (total: >25,000 participants), which were from Canada (1 study) and the USA (8).

What was found: The monetary value of many interventions was found to be low. For a whole family, this level of income increase may have been too small to have an impact on child well-being. Also, many of the programmes were limited to assessing the effects on temporary, short-term benefits and required parents to comply with work requirements

A small increase in monies provided to poor and socially disadvantaged families tied to work requirements did not seem to improve children’s health or well-being.


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