Helping Families Help Themselves: ∗ the (Un)Intended Impacts of a Digital Parenting Program
77 Pages Posted: 23 May 2022
Parenting practices play a crucial role in child development. We evaluate the impact of a free digital stress management and positive parenting intervention designed to reduce the prevalence of child maltreatment in El Salvador. Drawing on the prior success of in-person interventions, we study the effects of digital intervention delivery and examine differential treatment effects by caregiver’s sex. Using an individuallevel experiment, we find that the intervention increased stress and anxiety and lowered caregiver-child interactions among male caregivers. In contrast, among female caregivers, we did not detect changes in mental health but observed a decrease in physical violence against children. While these findings differ from results of in-person interventions, they align with theories that link economic deprivation and family structure to caregivers’ cognitive overload and mental health.
Keywords: Mental Health, positive parenting, parental stress, child maltreatment
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation