Helping Families Help Themselves? The (Un)intended Impacts of a Digital Parenting Program

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Jul 2022
Using an individual-level experiment with male and female caregivers of young children in El Salvador, we evaluate the impact of a free digital stress management and positive parenting intervention. We nd that, for males, the intervention increased stress and anxiety and lowered caregiver-child interactions. The effect on males is concentrated among the poorer and those residing with a partner. In contrast, womens mental health was not impacted. Yet, their use of physical violence toward children decreased by 18 percent. Our results align with theories linking economic deprivation and family structure to caregivers cognitive overload and mental health.