More Isn't Always Better in Texting Preschool Parents, Study Finds

By Marva Hinton

As more schools consider sending text messages to parents to encourage behaviors that support their child's education, a new research paper finds that it's possible to overdo it when it comes to effectively communicating through texts.

Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper that examined the impact of the frequency of text messages preschool parents received in a program designed to help them get their children ready for kindergarten.

The researchers found that parents who received five messages a week were more likely to opt out of the program than those who received three messages or one message.


Hans Fricke, the director of quantitative research at Policy Analysis for California Education, which is based at Stanford, and a collaborator on this study, says the findings show that it's possible to overdo it when it comes to giving parents advice.

"You have to be careful how much you actually try to get across at any point and time," said Fricke. "Otherwise, you might risk that parents opt out of it or don't pay attention anymore."


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