Impact of Women's Friendship Groups

Last registered on March 30, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Impact of Women's Friendship Groups
Initial registration date
March 22, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 30, 2023, 3:06 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Young married women in rural India are socially isolated, with potentially negative consequences for their psychological and subjective well-being, empowerment, and access to information. There is significant evidence on the positive economic effects of traditional in-person women’s groups focused on economic activities such as self-help groups and microfinance groups. In this study, we examine the role smartphone social media-based friendship groups can play in furthering women’s interests. We will evaluate the impact of participating in facilitated women’s friendship groups that involve significant smartphone-based interaction, on social networks/interactions, psychological well-being, subjective well-being, and empowerment. Further, we may explore the potential for such groups to provide a safe space to discuss and question social norms pertaining to women’s work, technology adoption, and fertility choices.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Schechter, Laura and Srinivasan Vasudevan. 2023. "Impact of Women's Friendship Groups." AEA RCT Registry. March 30.
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Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key primary outcomes include social networks/social interactions (in-person vs. phone-based, and family vs. non-family), psychological well-being (loneliness and stress), subjective well-being (happiness and life satisfaction), and empowerment and self-efficacy.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Tentative secondary outcomes include access to information (health, fertility, and labor market) and social norms/attitudes (women's work, domestic violence, inter-caste)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will recruit around 20 young married women each from 8 communities in the rural/peri-urban region around Vadodara, Gujarat in India. In each community, we will invite half the women, selected randomly, to participate in a women's friendship group led by a facilitator with some in-person meetings as well a significant smartphone-based social media interaction, for a period of around 3 months. The women may be given minor incentives to compensate them for their time spent attending in-person meetings and for their increased expenses on mobile services. The primary goal of the groups is to provide the women an opportunity to communicate/bond with other women in their community more intensively than may usually be possible due to mobility and social restrictions on women that are common in India. The groups will be led by a trained facilitator who will lead in-person meetings, smartphone training sessions, and manage social media interactions. The role of the facilitator is to facilitate and stimulate conversation and bonding.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
In office by computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual stratified by community.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
About 160 women.
Sample size: planned number of observations
About 160 women.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
80 women in treatment and 80 in control arms (stratified by community: about 10 women in treatment and 10 in control arms in each of 8 communities).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials