Children and youth growing up in contexts characterized by political violence are at high risk of developing mental health impairments. In recent years, a growing interest has been directed to the study of children’s well-being after being exposed to political violence in order to develop interventions aimed at preserving and enhancing it.
This study provides a synthetic overview of studies that have explored or implemented interventions aimed at improving well-being and life satisfaction in conflict-affected children.
We identified peer-reviewed studies relating to children’s well-being in conflict-affected environments through a narrative literature review. An ecological framework was used to organize the studies in relation to the individual, family, social and community factors playing a role in promoting and preserving participants’ well-being. Implications for practices, policies and research were summarized to highlight areas in which they need strengthening.
Of 1221 unique studies returned from online searches of the literature, 70 qualified for full review, with a total of 22 peer-reviewed studies included in the final synthesis. Results indicate a range of domains and dimensions that mutually interact to either enhance or diminish children’s well-being and life satisfaction. Four studies explicitly focused on assessing the effectiveness of interventions aimed at promoting and assessing children’s well-being and health.
Researchers were able to identify several dimensions that were contributing to the children’s well-being in situations of significant adversity. The concept of well-being emerged as a combination of personal resources and supportive contexts—such as family, peers, and community—that vary over time or across contexts. Well-being and life satisfaction in children living in contexts of political violence: a narrative literature review.