There are over 62 million children living in areas of humanitarian crisis. Research has indicated that although secure caregiving can help children face the stressors of war and disaster, in these contexts, caregiving abilities are diminished and the prevalence of family violence increases. This scoping review was conducted to a) examine the extent to which caregiver psychosocial wellbeing and family violence affect the wellbeing of children and b) understand if interventions and programming can improve wellbeing of children through changes in caregiver psychosocial wellbeing or family violence.
Using the Arksey and O’Malley framework, the team searched three electronic databases and various grey literature sources for relevant work. This was followed by a quantitative and thematic analysis to examine the extent, range and scope of literature.
The findings from 25 identified studies indicated that caregiver psychosocial wellbeing and family violence are both associated with various dimensions of child wellbeing. The search revealed very limited evidence in the form of evaluated programs that reliably measure caregiver and family dimensions, while also measuring child outcomes.
Focusing on improving the wellbeing of caregivers and reducing family violence may provide an important venue through which we can improve the lives of children. However, further research must be conducted to expand our understanding of the relationships between relevant factors, and to create robust program evaluations to determine the efficacy and value of interventions.