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Socioemotional Skills in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Maternal Psychosocial Intervention

Dilek Sevim, Victoria Baranov (), Sonia R. Bhalotra (), Joanna Maselko () and Pietro Biroli ()
Additional contact information
Dilek Sevim: University of Basel
Victoria Baranov: University of Melbourne
Sonia R. Bhalotra: University of Warwick
Joanna Maselko: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Pietro Biroli: University of Bologna

No 15925, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We study the formation of social and emotional skills in the first three years of life, and investigate the impact of a cluster-randomized peer-led psychosocial intervention targeting perinatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan. The intervention significantly improved maternal mental health, especially among mothers of boys. It resulted in imprecisely estimated increases in parental investment, and modest but transitory improvements in child's socioemotional skills. A descriptive analysis of mechanisms reveals that the intervention modified the production function of children's skills, by lowering the productivity of maternal mental health in the first 12 months of life. It moved outcomes for depressed women closer to outcomes for women not depressed during pregnancy.

Keywords: mental health; stress; socioemotional; RCT; child development; technology of skill formation; gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D1 I1 J1 O2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 77 pages
Date: 2023-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-ltv and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Published - published in: Journal of Human Resources , 2024, 59 (S), S365-S401

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