Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Review Article

The Impact of Family Stress and Resilience on Child Development: a scope review

Marília M. Mendes-Sousa, Marina B. Perrone, Rafael B. de Melo, Marcos V. V. Ribeiro, Qiong Chao, Carolina Torres, Zila M. Sanchez, Pamela J. Surkan, Silvia S. Martins, Thiago M. Fidalgo, Sheila C. Caetano

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Children grow up spending most of their time within the family social environment, where they can experience stressful situations such as marital conflict, a non-cohesive environment, parental alcohol use disorder, parental depression, and other parental mental health issues. All these factors are associated with children's developmental delays.

We aimed to conduct a scoping review on family stress and family resilience associated with child development delays to examine familial conditions associated with child development.

We conducted a scoping review of observational studies published between January 2000 to July 2023, indexed in MEDLINE and LILACS databases. We included observational studies that evaluated the history of exposure to violence, and behavioral or emotional symptoms, or mental health problems among children aged 4-12. Data were independently extracted using a structured form.

Database searches identified 12,990 different records. A total of 43 articles were included in the review. Three main findings emerged: (1) parental mental health problems, especially depressive symptoms in mothers, were associated with child developmental delays and mental health problems; (2) better parenting practices and cohesive home environment were positively associated with child development, and (3) Vulnerable social environments (e.g., poverty and housing insecurity) may be linked to child mental health problems.

Studies reviewed show that promoting better family dynamics and increasing family cohesion, as well as parenting abilities, are beneficial to a child’s socio-emotional development and prevention of child mental health problems. Moreover, increasing family and children’s resilience improves the quality of life within family units.


 Family stress, resilience, child development

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6557beeea95395717f705f33 trends Articles
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