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Promoting Infant-Directed Speech in Northern Ghana
Last registered on February 15, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Promoting Infant-Directed Speech in Northern Ghana
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007161
Initial registration date
February 12, 2021
Last updated
February 15, 2021 11:41 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Northwestern University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-02-15
End date
2027-01-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study evaluates a low-cost intervention aimed at encouraging mothers and other caregivers to converse with their infants as a way of promoting language and brain development. In our study setting of Ghana, as in many lower-income contexts, the practice of "infant-directed speech" is not common and its value for child development is not fully appreciated by parents. We developed a short (3-minute) animated video that encourages the viewer to talk to her baby, describing her actions and commenting on the surroundings, in a purposeful manner, and to encourage family members to do so as well. We also developed a calendar with images and messages from the video as a way to keep the message salient and to facilitate common knowledge in the household about the importance of infant-directed speech. A randomly selected subset of study participants will be shown the video and receive the calendar. We will measure the impact of the interventions on parental behavior, child development and language skill.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Dupas, Pascaline, Seema Jayachandran and Mark Walsh. 2021. "Promoting Infant-Directed Speech in Northern Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. February 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7161-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
(1) 3-minute animated video that encourages the viewer to talk to and read to her baby, and to encourage family members to do so, emphasizing the proven early childhood development benefits of infant-directed speech (IDS); (2) Printed calendar with images and messages from the video (and information on how to watch the video again online).
Intervention Start Date
2021-02-15
Intervention End Date
2021-05-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Frequency/intensity/type of infant-directed speech that the mother and other family members engaged in.
Children's language development
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study will enroll women visiting health clinics in and around Tamale, Ghana. the sample for this study will be up to 1400 women (budget-permitting) aged 18-40 years old who can speak English or Dagbani, and are pregnant and due in the next four months or currently have a child under 12 months old. 50% of participants will be assigned to the control group and 50% will be shown the video and receive a calendar (more precisely, offered to be shown the video and offered a calendar).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer. We will ensure that within each clinic-day, there are an equal number of women assigned to the Treatment and to the Control group. The clinic-day is a logistically convenient unit for stratification, but we do not expect stratum fixed effects to predict outcomes. Our main specification, thus, will include coarser fixed effects, but we will also show results with stratum fixed effects.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
800-1400 women (depends on budget)
Sample size: planned number of observations
800-1400 women (depends on budget)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
700 women in video + calendar arm
700 women in control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Assuming our outcome will be a normalized measure of child language development and our sample size is 1400 women, the minimum detectable effect size will be .157 standard deviations from the mean.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ghana Health Service Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-01-27
IRB Approval Number
GHS-ERC 002/12/20
IRB Name
Stanford University Panel on Non-Medical Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2020-12-04
IRB Approval Number
51503
IRB Name
Northwestern Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2020-12-15
IRB Approval Number
STU00213766