The Math for Parents and Children Together Project
Last registered on December 01, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Math for Parents and Children Together Project
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002512
Initial registration date
November 30, 2017
Last updated
December 01, 2017 11:00 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Chicago
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-10-08
End date
2020-03-22
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Disadvantaged children are particularly at risk for entering kindergarten behind their more advantaged peers, setting up an achievement gap that continues through later school and into adulthood. Early math skills are the strongest predictor of both later math and reading skills. However, many parents spend little time promoting their children's math skills at home. Interventions to support parent's promotion of their children's math skills in the home environment may help build math and reading skills and narrow this gap. Unfortunately, few home-based interventions for low-income parents emphasize children's early math learning and even fewer have been rigorously evaluated.

MPACT, Math for Parents and Children Together, is a program that teaches parents what effective math instruction for young children looks like, shows them how to integrate math learning into everyday routines, and encourages parents to spend time in these activities. Building on the principles of the successful Parents and Children Together (PACT) project, which increased the time low-income parents spent reading to their children, MPACT uses insights from behavioral science to promote parents' engagement in building children's developmentally-relevant math skills.

Chicago-area parents with children ages 3-4 who are currently enrolled in subsidized preschool programs will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups or a control group. The first treatment group will be lent a digital tablet preloaded with developmentally appropriate, math-focused applications. The second group will receive an activity booklet with developmentally appropriate, math-focused activities for parents to do with their child. The third group will receive the same intervention as group two and in addition will receive behaviorally informed text messages aimed at overcoming present bias. The fourth group will receive the same intervention as group two and in addition will receive text messages with a growth-mindset approach. The control group will receive no math tools or behaviorally informed intervention.

The goal of MPACT is to test how each of these different interventions improves parents' confidence in building their children's math skills, decreases parents' math anxiety, and increases children's relevant math skills, such as: numeracy, number recognition and relationship, and counting.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Delgado, William, Ariel Kalil and Susan Mayer. 2017. "The Math for Parents and Children Together Project." AEA RCT Registry. December 01. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2512/history/23636
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The MPACT Project is a twelve-week experimental intervention developed for parents with children to increase children's math skills. The study is conducted in three rounds, with first round starting in Fall 2017 and last round starting in Fall 2018. Chicago-area parents with children ages 3-4 who are currently enrolled in subsidized preschool programs will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups or a control group. The first treatment group will be lent a digital tablet preloaded with developmentally appropriate, math-focused applications. The second group will receive an activity booklet with developmentally appropriate, math-focused activities for parents to do with their child. The third group will receive the same intervention as group two and in addition will receive behaviorally informed text messages aimed at overcoming present bias. The fourth group will receive the same intervention as group two and in addition will receive text messages intended to change parental beliefs to growth mindset. The control group will receive no math tools or behaviorally informed intervention.
Intervention Start Date
2017-12-03
Intervention End Date
2019-02-24
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Woodcock-Johnson IV Applied Problems and Preschool Early Numeracy Skills assessments.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Parental attitudes and beliefs on math engagement with children Teacher's attitudes and beliefs on math engagement with children
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Attitudes and beliefs come from parents' and teachers' reports in a series of survey questions
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Eligible parents were those whose primary language was either English or Spanish, who had a child of age between 3 and 4 approximately, and who enrolled their children at one of our participant subsidized preschool centers in Chicago area.
Eligible parents who signed a consent form and were willing to receive text messages were randomized to either of the four treatment or control groups. In some preschool centers an opt-out recruitment strategy was used, thus eligible parents in these centers were enrolled, unless they consented not to be part of the project.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Classroom level randomization for treated and untreated classrooms.
Individual randomization for children in treated classrooms.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 classrooms (22 school-rounds with about 7 classrooms each)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,500 children (10 children per classroom)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
15 untreated classrooms, 135 treated classrooms.
150 control children in untreated classrooms
300 control children in treated classrooms, 300 MKit group, 300 MKit + present bias group, 300 Mkit + growth mindset group, 150 in math app group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Assuming 1,500 students in 150 classrooms, 4 treatment groups and a control group, intra-class correlation of 0.2 and power of 0.8, the minimum detectable effect size when comparing one treatment group with control is 0.23. Regarding peer-effects analysis, the minimum detectable effect size when comparing controls in treated classrooms versus controls in untreated classrooms is 0.41.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (SBS-IRB) at the University of Chicago.
IRB Approval Date
2016-11-09
IRB Approval Number
IRB16-0880