A randomized controlled trial that explores the effects of parental growth mindset intervention on parent beliefs, and children's mindset and arithmetic skills.

Last registered on April 19, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
A randomized controlled trial that explores the effects of parental growth mindset intervention on parent beliefs, and children's mindset and arithmetic skills.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009178
Initial registration date
April 10, 2022

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
April 12, 2022, 8:18 AM EDT

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

Last updated
April 19, 2022, 5:33 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Stavanger

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-04-20
End date
2022-06-22
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
People who believe their intelligence and abilities can be developed over time have growth mindsets, while those that believe they cannot be developed, have fixed mindsets. Students with growth mindsets are predicted to perform better in academics, and to have higher psychological well-being compared to other students. Research suggest that student’s mindsets are malleable, and that level of growth mindset and academic performance can be increased through low-cost and easily scalable interventions. However, there is a lack of studies that focus on how we can support parents to promote the development of growth mindset in their children.

I will examine whether parents can learn to foster their children’s growth mindsets through an online intervention. Families with children in 1.-3. grade will be recruited through schools, and randomized to control or treatment within classrooms. I will investigate treatment effects on the parents and their children. For parents I will investigate the impact on their theory of intelligence; belief about fixedness of ability; perceived parental impact; failure mindset; praise mindset; criticism mindset; and challenge mindset. For the children I will investigate the impact on their growth mindset; epistemic curiosity (parent perceived); and arithmetical facts.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Sagen, Espen. 2022. "A randomized controlled trial that explores the effects of parental growth mindset intervention on parent beliefs, and children's mindset and arithmetic skills.." AEA RCT Registry. April 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9178
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Both the treatment and control has four weekly sessions. All sessions are done online.

TREATMENT:
In week 1 we explain how important parents are to the development of their child. We also teach them about the malleability of the brain, and how children learn while working on challenging tasks. In week 2 the parents learn about how failure is normal, and how they can support their children to view mistakes as a learning opportunity instead of defeat. In week 3 we explain the difference between process- and person-feedback, and how process-feedback will help their children become better learners. In weeks 1-3 the sessions end with a specific activity the parents can use to foster the desired behavior explained in the session. Week 4 contains a summary of the previous weeks.

CONTROL:
In week 1 the participants learn about how the brain develops from childhood to adulthood, and that children do not have the same capabilities to plan and concentrate as adults, as these skills are still in development during childhood. In week 2 they learn about how they can support their children's ability to plan - they receive two activities that they can use for this purpose. In week 3 the topic is concentration, and the parents learn one activity that they can do to support their child's ability to concentrate. Week 4 contains a summary of the previous weeks.
Intervention Start Date
2022-04-20
Intervention End Date
2022-06-22

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
PARENTS:
- Theory of intelligence (Dweck, 2008)
- Perceived parental impact (Boivin et al., 2005)
- Failure mindset (Haimovitz and Dweck, 2016)
- Beliefs about fixedness of ability (Muenks et al., 2015)
- Praise, criticism, and challenge mindsets (self developed)

CHILDREN:
- Epistemic curiosity: Intellectual interest and informational deprivation (Piotrowski, Litman, & Valkenburg, 2014)
- Growth mindset: Theory of intelligence (Dweck, 1999 and 2008); growth mindset measures from Ruzek et al. (2020); and a self-developed measure that focuses on school ability (adapted from Dweck's TOI) .
- Arithmetical facts (Klausen & Reikerås, 2016)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Praise, criticism, and challenge mindsets for parents are self developed.
They are all measured using a 6-point Likert scale (agree to disagree).

Praise and criticism mindset are used to check whether the parents use primarily process- or person-feedback.

Praise mindset consists of the following four items:
1. When my child is doing something well, I usually praise his/her abilities.
2. If my child does well on his/her homework, I usually praise his/her abilities.
3. When my child does something well, I usually praise his/her effort or learning strategies.
4. If my child is doing something well, I try to avoid praising his/her abilities.

Criticism mindset consists of the following four items:
1. When my child makes a mistake, I usually focus my feedback on his/her abilities.
2. If my child makes a mistake on his/her homework, I usually focus my feedback on his/her abilities.
3. When my child makes a mistake, I usually focus my feedback on his/her effort or learning strategies.
4. If my child makes a mistake, I try to avoid focusing my feedback on his/her abilities.

Parents challenge mindset are measured to gauge their view on challenges, and consists of the following four items:
1. My child should get assignments at school that he/she can easily solve.
2. To get the most amount of correct answers, my child should always choose easy assignments at school.
3. My child should be academically challenged at school.
4. Even if it leads to some mistakes, my child should always choose assignments that he/she finds challenging.

---

Self-developed measure on children's growth mindset related to school abilities (adapted from Dweck's TOI) :
1. People are born either good at school or not good at school. This can't be changed.
2. You cannot change how good you are at school.
3. How good you are at school is not something that you can change very much.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We collaborate with school to recruit parents to join the experiment. The school sends out invitations to all parents with children in 1.-3. grade in week 16 of - 2022. The parents then have to sign-up to participate in the experiment.

All participating parents receive four weekly online sessions. The treatment group receives the parental growth mindset intervention, while the control group receives information of children's brain and skill development. All sessions are delivered through Qualtrics. The parents can choose whether to use a phone, tablet or laptop to complete the sessions.

Parents baseline measures are gathered just before the first session, and the parents post-intervention measures are gathered right after the last (fourth) session.

In week 22 we will go to the school to administer the arithmetic facts test and the gather the children's answers to the growth mindset questions. The children will complete the arithmetic facts test on paper, and the answers to the growth mindset questions will be gathered through the children's school Chromebooks, using Mentimeter.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
We collaborate with school to recruit parents to join the experiment. The school sends out invitations to all parents with children in 1.-3. grade. Every other invitation contains a link to either the treatment or the control. This is done to make sure that we randomize on the family level, and that parents of the same child end up in the same group.
Randomization Unit
Family (child)
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 children
150 parents
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 children 150 parents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 children in treatment and 50 in control
75 parents in treatment and 75 in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Children: We are able to detect an effect size of 0.57 standard deviations (power = 80% and alpha = 0.05). Parents: We are able to detect an effect size of 0.46 standard deviations (power = 80% and alpha = 0.05). We expect that including parent characteristics will enhance the statistical power.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Norsk Senter For Forskningsdata
IRB Approval Date
2022-03-07
IRB Approval Number
671610
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials