The best interests of the child: an integrative review of English and Portuguese literatures

Alcântara Mendes, Josimar Antônio de and Ormerod, Tom (2019) The best interests of the child: an integrative review of English and Portuguese literatures. Psicologia em Estudo, 24. a45021. ISSN 1413-7372

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Abstract

The best interests of the child (BIC) should be of primary consideration in any situation involving children. Thus, BIC is commonly adopted as a principle, doctrine or test to weight decision-making regarding children. This study consists of an integrative literature review of English and Portuguese publications aimed at investigating how various studies address BIC definitions, characteristics and applications. The inclusion criteria were: 1) articles published between 2012 and 2017, and 2) those clearly addressing a BIC definition, characteristic and/or application. The chosen English databases were ASSIA, PsychARTICLES, PsychInfo, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar; the Portuguese databases were: LILACS, PePsic, Redalyc, Periódicos CAPES and Google Scholar. The main descriptor used was ‘best interests of the child’ which led to 1488 articles being found, and 14 selected. Brazilian articles have focused on the need to protect the child’s physical and psycho-socioemotional well-being, highlighting the child as a subject of rights, and maintaining child’s familial bonds. English articles have broadened the BIC perspective, highlighting the child’s idiosyncrasies, the role of the parent’s interests, and BIC as non-individualistic, flexible and complex. Other results show that BIC is largely related to the child’s development, which is divided into ‘material-physiological’ (basic needs and surviving) and ‘contextual’ (non-material and psychosocial and emotional needs) domains. Overall, BIC is a pluralistic, complex and multi-dimensional construct that depends on the child’s relational contexts.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Best interests of the child; child’s development; child’s rights
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2019 08:50
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 14:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84868

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