Parental Expectations on the Role of Institutional vs Family Inputs for Child Development

Last registered on August 09, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Parental Expectations on the Role of Institutional vs Family Inputs for Child Development
Initial registration date
August 05, 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
August 09, 2022, 4:40 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The purpose of this study is to assess parents’ expectations on the role of institutional versus parental inputs in promoting healthy child development and reducing early disparities and examine how these expectations relate to stress and well-being among parents of young children living in the U.S.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Pernaudet, Julie and Dana Suskind. 2022. "Parental Expectations on the Role of Institutional vs Family Inputs for Child Development." AEA RCT Registry. August 09.
Experimental Details


Participants will be asked to read different fictional scenarios (vignettes) describing a family with a young child experiencing a developmental delay (more details below)
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Parents’ expectations about the role of institutional inputs vs. parental inputs for the success of low and high-SES children. Expectations will distinguish between short vs long-term child outcomes as well as cognitive and non-cognitive skills (4 outcomes).
- Parents’ level of stress, mastery, and happiness
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
To measure expectations about institutional and parental inputs, respondents will be asked to rate how likely on a scale from 0 to 100% a hypothetical child will be able to achieve certain cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes in the short and long run after reading a randomly selected scenario. Eight different scenarios will randomly vary the level of institutional and parental inputs as well as the SES of the parents (2x2x2).
More detailed explanations are provided in the Experimental design section.
To measure stress, mastery, and happiness, respondents will be asked to complete the Perceived Stress Scale, the Pearlin Mastery Scale, and the Cantril Ladder.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
First, we will ask questions about the perceived responsibility of parents vs institutions in ensuring the healthy development of the hypothetical child as potential mechanisms explaining the relation between the scenario parents read and their level of stress, mastery, and happiness.

We will also ask questions about the perceived efficacy of institutional inputs as potential mechanisms explaining parents’ expectations about the effect of institutional inputs on child outcomes.

Last, we will ask parents about their expectations towards the programs and policies in their own community.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be randomly assigned to 1 of 8 treatment arms. Each of the 8 treatment arms consists of a short vignette about a hypothetical family that varies across dimensions of high vs. low SES, high vs. low parental inputs, and high vs. low institutional inputs (2x2x2). In all 8 cases, the hypothetical family is informed by the pediatrician that their child has a developmental delay.

A complete description of the vignettes is provided in the pre-analysis plan.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method was used to generate randomization tables.
Four unique randomization tables were generated, one per stratum. We have four strata corresponding to the two heterogeneity subgroups we are interested in: male vs female, and low vs high-SES respondents (defined as having a Bachelor’s degree or higher vs less).
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization will be the individual subject.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
1600 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The 8 vignettes will be randomly assigned within each of the four strata. Therefore we will have 50 observations per treatment arm in each stratum and 200 observations per treatment arm in the full sample.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
0.15-0.3 sd depending on the outcome and subgroup considered
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Chicago Social Behavioral Sciences IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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