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Helping families help themselves during stay-at-home orders: effects of a mobile phone intervention to address child maltreatment and violent parent-child Interactions

Lockdown measures imposed throughout the world to contain the spread of the Covid-19 have drastically changed household dynamics. The stay-at-home orders, together with the temporary closure of schools and the change to virtual education schemes, have increased the time children are at home, generating new and higher demands on parents that can lead to stress and intrafamily conflict. We evaluate an intervention on parental stress management and positive discipline delivered via mobile phone to caregivers of children in the context of el salvador's Covid-19 stay-at-home orders. Using an rct design, we will assess the causal impact of this intervention on stress, parent-child interaction, and attitudes towards child maltreatment and neglect. The intervention, based on material previously used for in-person programs, will be delivered in an easily scalable, and digital format. The evidence of its efficacy will provide critical insights into how to support families during and after confinement periods to reduce stress and conflict, seeking to avoid their potential lasting effects on children's development.

Lead investigator:

Sofia Amaral


ifo Institute

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Secondary topic:

Families & households

Region of data collection:

North America

Country of data collection

El Salvador

Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:


Unit of real-time data collection