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Child Development Accounts Improve Parenting Practices, Particularly for Financially Vulnerable Families

Parenting practices, such as parental involvement and discipline, define parent–child interactions and influence child functioning. Child Development Accounts may have positive impacts on parenting practices by increasing parents’ perceived levels of economic safety, enhancing their optimism regarding the long-term development of their child, and improving parents’ mental health. This research brief synthesizes findings of the CDA effects on parenting practices from three research studies in the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment.

Findings show that the SEED OK CDA has significantly reduced mothers’ punitive parenting practices, and also increased positive parenting practices among mothers in financially vulnerable families. The size of the CDA effects on punitive parenting practices is similar to that of some estimates of the impact of Early Head Start and Head Start programs.

Citation

Huang, J., Beverly, S. G., Clancy, M. M., & Sherraden, M. (2020). Child Development Accounts improve parenting practices, particularly for financially vulnerable families (CSD Research Brief No. 20-15). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://doi.org/10.7936/8h4t-sc04