When Behavioral Barriers are Too High or Low – How Timing Matters for Parenting Interventions

(Cortes, Fricke, Loeb, Song & York, 2019)

This study compares the effects of an early childhood text-messaging program sent during the weekend to the same program sent on weekdays. We find that sending the texts on the weekend is, on average, more beneficial to children’s literacy and math development. This effect is particularly strong for initially lower achieving children, while the weekday texts show some benefits for higher achieving children on higher order skills. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that the parents of lower achieving students, on average, face such high barriers during weekdays that supports are not enough to overcome these barriers.

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