The Replication of a Parenting Behavioral Change Communication Intervention during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Too Much or Too Little Information?

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Dec 2022
Parenting programs can improve experiences during the early years and generate long-term outcomes in variables such as employment, health, education, and salary. The need to scale up parenting programs has driven the implementation of interventions based on communication technologies and behavioral economics. This paper compares two impact evaluations of the Positive Parenting program in 2018 and a fully remote adaptation of the program in 2020. The evaluation of the first edition, which included an intensive face-to-face parenting workshop and emails, found significant increases in parental involvement and in the quality of child-caregiver interaction. The evaluation of the second edition of the program, which only included the sending of remote messages and was carried out in the context of the pandemic, does not find statistically significant effects, except in variables such as equal cooperation in parenting tasks within the household and socialization activities. The difference in results could be explained by the absence of an in-person workshop, the greater extension of the messages and the attention divided between multiple sources of stress and distractions observed during the second edition.