Home visitation or group intervention? Effects of early stimulation on child wellbeing and maternal mental health in a rural and indigenous setting

Last registered on October 02, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

Home visitation or group intervention? Effects of early stimulation on child wellbeing and maternal mental health in a rural and indigenous setting
Initial registration date
October 01, 2019

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
October 02, 2019, 11:14 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Missouri

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This study examines the effects of parental training on early childhood stimulation on parent-child interactions, maternal depression and child’s nutritional and cognitive outcomes in Guatemala. This study assesses the cost effectiveness of using home-visits or group-sessions. More than 40 percent of Guatemala’s population is indigenous, making the country an ideal setting for new comparative research of an at-risk population that has not been studied comprehensively. Additionally, the literature on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of early childhood stimulation programs is limited. While more common in the developed world, this type of analysis is most needed in the developing world given the limited resources and the need to assess programs’ feasibility,sustainability, and scalability. To our knowledge, this study is the first that used a clustered randomized controlled trial to assign communities (n=111) to three treatment arms: home visitations, group sessions, and no intervention in an indigenous setting. As such, it will advance the literature by providing evidence as to whether one early childhood stimulation modality produces better outcomes than the other does and, if so, by how much and at what cost. About 2,000 children between 6 and 18 months of age were assessed at baseline. The interventions were also complemented with training, supervision, and mentoring of mother educators.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Arteaga, Irma and Julieta Trias. 2019. "Home visitation or group intervention? Effects of early stimulation on child wellbeing and maternal mental health in a rural and indigenous setting." AEA RCT Registry. October 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4808
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Cognitive, language and motor skills for children
Parent- child interactions
Home environment
Maternal depression
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The proposed clustered RCT will rigorously estimate the effects of early stimulation on children’s cognitive and socio-emotional skills and nutritional status. ChildFund Guatemala provided a list of 150 impoverished communities in the poorest areas of indigenous Guatemala. From this list, we randomly selected 111 communities; from that group, we randomly selected communities into a treatment arm. From there, we used local community health center data to randomly select 20 children ages 6 months to 18 months to participate in the evaluation; each community has, on average, 40 children in the targeted age range. To account for rejections and attrition, we also selected three child replacements per community.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
We randomly assigned communities to a treatment arm.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
111 communities
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
37 communities control, 37 communities with home visits, 37 communities with group meetings.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Missouri
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