lancet-header

Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals identify content of interest prior to publication. Authors have opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These preprints are early stage research papers that have not been peer-reviewed. The findings should not be used for clinical or public health decision making and should not be presented to a lay audience without highlighting that they are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed. For more information on this collaboration, see the comments published in The Lancet about the trial period, and our decision to make this a permanent offering, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact preprints@lancet.com.

The Impact of Cash Transfers on Mental Health in Children and Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

44 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020

See all articles by Annie Zimmerman

Annie Zimmerman

King's College London - Department of Health Service and Population Research

Emily Garman

University of Cape Town - Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health

Mauricio Avendano

King's College London - Global Health & Social Medicine

Ricardo Araya

King's College London - Department of Health Service and Population Research

Sara Evans-Lacko

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre

David McDaid

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre

A-La Park

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre

Philipp Hessel

Universidad de Los Andes - Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo

Yadira Diaz

Universidad de Los Andes - Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo

Alicia Matijasevich

Universidade de São Paulo - Departamento de Medicina Preventiva

Carola Ziebold

Universidade de São Paulo - Departamento de Medicina Preventiva

Annette Bauer

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre

Cristiane Silvestre Paula

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie - Programa de Pósgraduação em Distúrbios do Desenvolvimento

Crick Lund

University of Cape Town - Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health

More...

Abstract

Background: Although cash transfer programme are not explicitly designed to improve mental health, by reducing poverty and improving the life chances of children and young people, they may also improve their mental health. This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the evidence on the effectiveness of cash transfers to improve the mental health of children and young people in low- and middle-income countries.

Methods: We searched Pubmed, EBSCOhost, SciELO, ISI Web of Science and Social Sciences Citation Index and grey literature (from Jan 2000 to the July 2020) for studies which quantitatively assessed the impact of cash transfer on mental health in young people (aged 0-24 years), using a design that incorporated a control group. No restrictions to language or article type were applied. We extracted Cohen’s d effects size and assessed the quality of studies using Cochrane Bias Tool. We used a random-effects model for the meta-analysis on studies that measured depressive symptoms, I2 statistic and assessment of study quality. This review is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020168227).

Findings: We identified 12,112 articles for screening, of which 12 were included in the systematic review (covering 13 interventions) and seven in the meta-analysis assessing impact on depressive symptoms specifically. There was high heterogeneity (I2=95·2) and a high risk of bias (0·38, 95% CIs: -5·08, 5·85, p=0·86) across studies. Eleven interventions (85%) showed a significant positive impact of cash transfers on at least one mental health outcome in children and young people. However, no study found a positive effect on all mental health outcomes examined, and the meta-analysis showed no impact of cash transfers on depressive symptoms (0·02, 95% CIs=-0·19, 0·23; p=0·85).

Interpretation: Cash transfers may have positive effects on some mental health outcomes for young people, but there is high heterogeneity across studies, with some interventions showing no effects. Our review highlights how the effect of cash transfers may vary by social and economic context, culture, design, conditionality and mental health outcome.

Registration: This review is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020168227).

Funding Statement: UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (ES/S001050/1).

Declaration of Interests: We declare no competing interests.

Suggested Citation

Zimmerman, Annie and Garman, Emily and Avendano, Mauricio and Araya, Ricardo and Evans-Lacko, Sara and McDaid, David and Park, A-La and Hessel, Philipp and Diaz, Yadira and Matijasevich, Alicia and Ziebold, Carola and Bauer, Annette and Paula, Cristiane Silvestre and Lund, Crick, The Impact of Cash Transfers on Mental Health in Children and Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3742275 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3742275

Annie Zimmerman (Contact Author)

King's College London - Department of Health Service and Population Research ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Emily Garman

University of Cape Town - Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health ( email )

United States

Mauricio Avendano

King's College London - Global Health & Social Medicine ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Ricardo Araya

King's College London - Department of Health Service and Population Research

London
United Kingdom

Sara Evans-Lacko

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre ( email )

United Kingdom

David McDaid

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre ( email )

United Kingdom

A-La Park

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Philipp Hessel

Universidad de Los Andes - Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Yadira Diaz

Universidad de Los Andes - Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Alicia Matijasevich

Universidade de São Paulo - Departamento de Medicina Preventiva

Av Dr Arnaldo 455
São Paulo
Brazil

Carola Ziebold

Universidade de São Paulo - Departamento de Medicina Preventiva

Av Dr Arnaldo 455
São Paulo
Brazil

Annette Bauer

London School of Economics and Political Science - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre ( email )

United Kingdom

Cristiane Silvestre Paula

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie - Programa de Pósgraduação em Distúrbios do Desenvolvimento ( email )

Crick Lund

University of Cape Town - Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Click here to go to TheLancet.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
165
Downloads
24
PlumX Metrics