NBER

David S. Song

Graduate School of Education
Center for Education Policy Analysis
Stanford University
520 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Stanford University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2019When Behavioral Barriers are Too High or Low – How Timing Matters for Parenting Interventions
with Kalena E. Cortes, Hans D.U. Fricke, Susanna Loeb, Benjamin N. York: w25964
The time children spend with their parents affects their development. Parenting programs can help parents use that time more effectively. Text-messaged-based parenting curricula have proven an effective means of supporting positive parenting practices by providing easy and fun activities that reduce informational and behavioral barriers. These programs may be more effective if delivered during times when parents are particularly in need of support or alternatively when parents have more time to interact with their child. This study compares the effects of an early childhood text-messaging program sent during the weekend to the same program sent on weekdays. We find that sending the texts on the weekend is, on average, more beneficial to children’s literacy and math development. This effect...
July 2018Too little or too much? Actionable Advice in an Early-Childhood Text Messaging Experiment
with Kalena E. Cortes, Hans Fricke, Susanna Loeb: w24827
Text-message based parenting programs have proven successful in improving parental engagement and preschoolers’ literacy development. The tested programs have provided a combination of (a) general information about important literacy skills, (b) actionable advice (i.e., specific examples of such activities), and (c) encouragement. The regularity of the texts – each week throughout the school year – also provided nudges to focus parents’ attention on their children. This study seeks to identify mechanisms of the overall effect of such programs. It investigates whether the actionable advice alone drives previous study’s results and whether additional texts of actionable advice improve program effectiveness. The findings provide evidence that text messaging programs can supply too little or t...

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