Benjamin N. York
10 Mulberry Ct. #3
Belmont, CA 94002
Institutional Affiliation: ParentPowered Technologies
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2019||When Behavioral Barriers are Too High or Low – How Timing Matters for Parenting Interventions|
with Kalena E. Cortes, Hans D.U. Fricke, Susanna Loeb, David S. Song: w25964
The time children spend with their parents affects their development. Parenting programs can help parents use that time more effectively. Text-messaged-based parenting curricula have proven an effective means of supporting positive parenting practices by providing easy and fun activities that reduce informational and behavioral barriers. These programs may be more effective if delivered during times when parents are particularly in need of support or alternatively when parents have more time to interact with their child. 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...
|March 2018||More than Just a Nudge: Supporting Kindergarten Parents with Differentiated and Personalized Text-Messages|
with Christopher J. Doss, Erin M. Fahle, Susanna Loeb: w24450
Recent studies show that texting-based interventions can produce educational benefits in children across a range of ages. We study effects of a text-based program for parents of kindergarten children, distinguishing a general program from one adding differentiation and personalization based on each child’s developmental level. Children in the differentiated and personalized program were 63 percent more likely to read at a higher level (p<0.001) compared to the general group; and their parents reported engaging more in literacy activities. Effects were driven by children further from average levels of baseline development indicating that the effects likely stemmed from text content.
Published: Christopher Doss & Erin M. Fahle & Susanna Loeb & Benjamin N. York, 2019. "More Than Just a Nudge," Journal of Human Resources, vol 54(3), pages 567-603.
|November 2014||One Step at a Time: The Effects of an Early Literacy Text Messaging Program for Parents of Preschoolers|
with Susanna Loeb: w20659
Large systematic differences in young children’s home learning experiences have long-term economic consequences. Many parenting programs place significant demands on parents’ time and inundate parents with information. This study evaluates the effects of READY4K!, an eight-month-long text-messaging intervention for parents of preschoolers that targets the behavioral barriers to engaged parenting. We find that READY4K! increased parental involvement at home and school by 0.15 to 0.29 standard deviations, leading to child gains in early literacy of about 0.11 standard deviations. The results point to the salience of behavioral barriers to parenting and the potential for low-cost interventions to reduce these barriers.