Cash Transfers and Parent-Child Interaction

Last registered on March 16, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Cash Transfers and Parent-Child Interaction
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007225
Initial registration date
March 15, 2021
Last updated
March 16, 2021, 6:37 AM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-04-01
End date
2022-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Differences in academic achievement between high and low socioeconomic status (SES) children arise at a very early age. Examining the factors that give rise to these differences is essential for understanding the intergenerational transmission of poverty. This project tests the idea that the psychological experience of poverty leads parents to engage less with their young children, hampering early child development. We focus on parents’ verbal interactions with children, which differ markedly by SES in observational data, and are the most prominent proxy for parental engagement in developmental psychology. We leverage a cash transfer intervention among households California to examine how alleviating financial constraints impacts verbal interactions within the household.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hallez, Kristina et al. 2021. "Cash Transfers and Parent-Child Interaction." AEA RCT Registry. March 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7225-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We leverage a cash transfer intervention among households in Northern California to examine impacts on verbal interactions within the household. The pilot will be comprised of up to 100 low-income families.
Intervention Start Date
2021-05-01
Intervention End Date
2022-05-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Parent-child speech interactions, as measured by child word/vocalizations, adult word count, and conversational turns (vocalizations that alternate between a child and adult speaking to each other)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Financial rumination, positive and negative affect, couple relationship, agency, competent and negative parenting, and time spent with children will be measured through surveys.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be randomly assigned to a treatment condition or a control condition. Treated participants will receive a $400 unconditional cash transfer via a prepaid non-reloadable electronic Visa debit card sent to their email address or mobile phone number, which will arrive on Day 15 or 16 of the month. We will use audio data to assess parents’ speech to children, children’s own speech, and family relationship dynamics. In addition, we will use supplementary surveys to collect data on outcomes such as affect, financial rumination, harmony between adult partners, and parents’ activities with their child.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We will randomize by computer.
Randomization Unit
family
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 families
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 families control, 50 families treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Our primary outcome of interest is the number of conversational turns between parents and children. Based on the baseline distribution of conversational turns in Ellwood-Lowe et al. (2020), with our expected sample size of 100 households, this corresponds to an MDE of 6.79 conversational turns off a mean of 28.19 using just three days of recording data. Our study will have 20 days of recording data from general audio recorders, plus the three days of data using the specialized LENA recorders used in this previous work. Consequently, we expect our statistical power to be substantially higher than previous work. However, this is only preliminary, and we will update these power calculations before launching the full study.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number