Promoting non-violent parenting and stress coping through a virtual parenting program in Jamaica

Last registered on October 21, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Promoting non-violent parenting and stress coping through a virtual parenting program in Jamaica
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008266
Initial registration date
October 11, 2021
Last updated
October 21, 2021, 1:50 PM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
National University of Singapore
PI Affiliation
UCLA
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
University of the West Indies, Jamaica and Bangor University, UK

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-04-01
End date
2022-01-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Stress and financial uncertainty can have an important effect on parental investments and the quality of parent-child interactions at home. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have enacted preventive quarantine measures to flatten the transmission curve. The pandemic has generated an increase in stress and financial uncertainty for people (Almond, et al 2018; Bhat, et al., 2020). Quarantine measures make household members stay together for longer periods of time at home, which exacerbates the likelihood of children exhibiting behaviors that trigger violent reactions in adults at home.

Results from a rapid response survey implemented in Jamaica in July 2020 showed that one of the most important demands from caregivers in the sample is greater availability of services for socioemotional support and stress reduction. Additionally, the data show that 90% of caregivers have access to the internet by phone and 44% internet by tablet. Moreover, while the majority of parents/caregivers reported increasing positive interactions with their children, they also reported increased negative interactions.

Considering the economic and social costs of caregiver’s and children’s stress and the results from the rapid response survey in Jamaica, this research project aims to measure the impact of a virtual intervention (IRIE Homes) that provides caregivers access to support and guidance by specialists to cope with stress and positive parenting skills. By conducting a randomized control trial with approximately 1,200 caregivers in Jamaica, we will measure the causal impacts of this intervention on parenting skills, child maltreatment or abuse, and caregivers’ mental health.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Baker-Henningham, Helen et al. 2021. "Promoting non-violent parenting and stress coping through a virtual parenting program in Jamaica." AEA RCT Registry. October 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8266-1.1
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention involves training parents of children aged 2 to 6 years in child behavior management strategies and child-led play using a virtual adaptation of the Irie Homes Toolbox.

The intervention includes content relating to four key concepts: 1) building positive relationships between parent and child (e.g. praise, child-led play, involving the child in everyday activities), 2) preventing misbehavior (e.g. understanding why children misbehave, giving children independence, and autonomy, giving clear instructions, setting rules and expectations, modeling appropriate behavior), 3) managing misbehavior (e.g. redirecting children, withdrawing attention, setting limits, giving appropriate consequences) and 4) emotional self-regulation and stress reduction techniques.

The intervention is delivered over a 10-week period through three main components:
1) Three SMS messages per week relating to content from the Irie Homes Toolbox
2) Access to an App consisting of videos of parents utilizing the strategies with their children with new content uploaded each week for 10 weeks
3) Weekly 1-hour virtual group parenting sessions in small groups of eight parents with an officer from the Early Childhood Commission, Jamaica.

The control group receive three SMS messages per week with content relating Covid-19 and how to keep their child safe.
Intervention Start Date
2021-09-20
Intervention End Date
2021-11-26

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Parents’ use of violence against their child
Parental support
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
For each primary outcome, we will study both extensive and intensive margins.
- Parents’ use of violence against their child: number of days in the past week that the parent used violence against their child across five discipline questions (from UNICEF MICS). We will also use a list experiment to estimate the prevalence of use of violence and compare the difference between treatment and control groups.
- Parental support: number of days in the past week that the parent carried out five activities with their child (from UNICEF MICS).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Caregiver well-being
Child behavior difficulties
Attitudes to violence
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
For each secondary outcome, we will study both extensive and intensive margins.
- Caregiver well-being: depression (from PHQ-2), sleep, and anxiety (from GAD-2); each question answered on a 0-3 scale.
- Child behavior difficulties: ten questions on strengths and difficulties (five on emotional subscale and five on conduct); each question answered on a 0-2 scale.
- Attitudes to violence: five agree/disagree questions.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Sampling:
There were two eligibility criteria for recruitment of caregivers into the study: (1) the individual should be the father, mother, or main caregiver of a child between 2-6 years of age (inclusive), and (2) the individual should have access to a smartphone or tablet that allows him/her to connect to the internet.

Caregivers were recruited via three channels: (1) SMS messages to the universe of mobile subscribers of Digicel Jamaica (more than 2.6 million SMS messages were sent across all Jamaican parishes), (2) emails sent to principals of preschools by the Early Childhood Commission for dissemination to parents, and (3) social media banners on the Jamaican Loop News website. Each mode of recruitment had a unique link to the recruitment eligibility checklist survey.

Randomization:

1,117 recruited caregivers successfully completed the baseline survey. We randomized the caregivers into two experimental arms: treatment and control. One caregiver in the treatment group was dropped post-randomization as she was later identified as an officer from the Early Childhood Commission, Jamaica. This gave a final study sample of 557 caregivers in the treatment group and 559 caregivers in the control group.

Randomization was stratified by four strata – the cross between the gender of the caregiver ((1) male or (2) female) and the mode of recruitment into the study ((1) SMS campaign or (2) Early Childhood Commission and Principal referral or social media campaign). Few caregivers were recruited through the principal and social media channels, and so we pooled these two modes in the stratification exercise. Stratified randomization by gender will allow us to study heterogeneity in intervention impacts by the gender of the caregiver. Details on the intervention that the treatment group receives are provided in the intervention section. Caregivers in the control group receive three SMS messages per week with content relating Covid-19 and how to keep their child safe.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in Stata using the randtreat command. Randomization was stratified by four strata – the cross between the gender of the caregiver ((1) male or (2) female) and the mode of recruitment into the study ((1) SMS campaign or (2) Principal referral or social media campaign).
Randomization Unit
Caregiver-level randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,116 caregivers
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,116 caregivers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
557 caregivers in the treatment group and 559 caregivers in the control group. This excludes 1 caregiver in the treatment group who was dropped post-randomization as she was later identified as an officer from the Early Childhood Commission, Jamaica.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDE = 0.18 (18 percentage points) assuming alpha = 0.05, power = 80%, correlation between baseline and endline (ANCOVA model) = 0.25, attrition between baseline and endline = 20%.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-06-08
IRB Approval Number
CREC-MN.86, 20/21