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Effects of Child Development Accounts on Early Social-Emotional Development: An Experimental Test

This study, based on Oklahoma’s statewide Child Development Accounts (CDAs) program, presents findings from the first experimental test of the hypothesis that creating lifelong savings accounts for children at birth promotes their long-term well-being. The intervention offered CDAs, built on the existing Oklahoma 529 college-savings plan, to treatment participants. It also provided additional financial incentives and information. As a complement to other early education and health interventions, CDAs may improve social-emotional development in early childhood. Their effects may be explained as a mediating process that influences parents. Child Development Accounts may influence parental attitudes, behaviors, expectations, and involvement; in turn, these may affect child development.

Citation

Huang, J., Sherraden, M., Kim, Y., & Clancy, M. (2014). Effects of Child Development Accounts on early social-emotional development: An experimental test. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(3), 265–271. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4643