Literacy Promotion Using Automated Hovering to Improve Development in Young Low-Income Children

Pilot Project

Literacy Promotion Using Automated Hovering to Improve Development in Young Low-Income Children

Early childhood is a sensitive period in which young children develop language and socio-emotional skills foundational for school readiness. Unfortunately, poor vulnerable children experience disparities in these critical areas of development. Parent-child shared reading can help ameliorate these disparities, yet low-income parents do not consistently engage in this activity. Behavioral economics approaches utilizing automated hovering (AH) have the potential to increase parent-child shared reading through text messages and financial inducements. This application proposes to (1) assess the feasibility and acceptability of 3 novel AH interventions of increasing complexity hypothesized to increase the frequency of parent-child shared reading; and (2) explore relevant outcomes related to parenting stress, the home reading environment, and language and socio-emotional development. To accomplish these goals, we propose to conduct brief rapid cycle design processes with 10 parents and then enroll and randomize 45 low-income children and their families from 2-3 urban CHOP-affiliated pediatric practices to one of three 2-month interventions: daily text message reminders, daily text message reminders with coaching, or daily text message reminders with coaching and weekly lottery entries. This application addresses the care of vulnerable populations, an LDI priority research area and represents a new collaboration among pediatric researchers from CHOP, Rutgers University, and the Penn School of Nursing. This application can provide critical preliminary data for a future R01 application to test the effects of AH approaches to increase parent-child shared reading in a larger and more diverse population of low-income children.