Boya Wang is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, specializing in the field of early childhood development. Her research is dedicated to identifying and implementing effective programs and policies aimed at enhancing the well-being of children in rural China. With a wealth of field experience, she has a keen interest in promoting early human capital formation. Through large-scale randomized controlled trials, she evaluates the profound impact of parenting interventions on enhancing parenting practices, improving caregiver mental health, and fostering early childhood development.

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Effectiveness of a government-led, multiarm intervention on early childhood development and caregiver mental health: a study protocol for a factorial cluster-randomised trial in rural China. BMJ open Jiang, Q., Wang, B., Qian, Y., Emmers, D., Li, S., Pappas, L., Tsai, E., Sun, L., Singh, M., Fernald, L., Rozelle, S. 2023; 13 (11): e076644


    The high incidences of both the developmental delay among young children and the mental health problems of their caregivers are major threats to public health in low-income and middle-income countries. Parental training interventions during early childhood have been shown to benefit early development, yet evidence on strategies to promote caregiver mental health remains limited. In addition, evidence on the optimal design of scalable interventions that integrate early child development and maternal mental health components is scarce.We design a single-blind, factorial, cluster-randomised controlled, superiority trial that will be delivered and supervised by local agents of the All China Women's Federation (ACWF), the nationwide, government-sponsored social protection organisation that aims to safeguard the rights and interests of women and children. We randomise 125 villages in rural China into four arms: (1) a parenting stimulation arm; (2) a caregiver mental health arm; (3) a combined parenting stimulation and caregiver mental health arm and (4) a pure control arm. Caregivers and their children (aged 6-24 months at the time of baseline data collection) are selected and invited to participate in the 12-month-long study. The parenting stimulation intervention consists of weekly, one-on-one training sessions that follow a loose adaptation of the Reach Up and Learn curriculum. The caregiver mental health intervention is comprised of fortnightly group activities based on an adaptation of the Thinking Healthy curriculum from the WHO. Primary outcomes include measures of child development and caregiver mental health. Secondary outcomes include a comprehensive set of physical, psychological and behavioural outcomes. This protocol describes the design and evaluation plan for this programme.This study received approval from the Institutional Review Board of Stanford University (IRB Protocol #63680) and the Institutional Review Board of the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Informed oral consent will be obtained from all caregivers for their own and their child's participation in the study. The full protocol will be publicly available in an open-access format. The study findings will be published in economics, medical and public health journals, as well as Chinese or English policy briefs.AEA RCT Registry (AEARCTR-0010078) and ISRCTN registry (ISRCTN84864201).

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-076644

    View details for PubMedID 38016796

  • Impact of online computer assisted learning on education: Experimental evidence from economically vulnerable areas of China ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW Bai, Y., Tang, B., Wang, B., Mo, D., Zhang, L., Rozelle, S., Auden, E., Mandell, B. 2023; 94
  • Family Environment In Rural China And The Link With Early Childhood Development EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND CARE Wang, B., Luo, X., Yue, A., Tang, L., Shi, Y. 2022; 192 (4): 617-630
  • Stimulation and Early Child Development in China: Caregiving at Arm's Length. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP Yue, A. n., Shi, Y. n., Luo, R. n., Wang, B. n., Weber, A. n., Medina, A. n., Kotb, S. n., Rozelle, S. n. 2019


    To provide an empirical overview of the parenting landscape in rural China, focusing on 18- to 30-month-old children and their caregivers in rural Shaanxi province.We collected unique data on 1442 caregiver-toddler dyads in rural areas of Shaanxi province and examined caregiver attitudes toward parenting, sources of information about parenting, and interactive parenting practices, and how each of these differed across generations. We measured how parenting attitudes and sources of information informed parenting practices. Finally, we measured levels of child development in our sample and the association between parenting practices and children's developmental outcomes.Most of the caregivers did not engage with children in a way that encouraged early development. Caregivers rarely told stories, sang, or used toys to play with their children. Grandmothers were more stressed by the children in their care and engaged significantly less than mothers did in the 3 stimulating interactions. Professional sources of information about parenting were underutilized by all caregivers. We found high rates of developmental delay in our sample and showed that these delays were associated with the lack of caregiver engagement.Our findings suggest that the major economic and social shifts occurring in rural China have not led to a widespread prevalence of stimulative parenting practices. Although caregivers report positive attitudes toward child-rearing, reliable sources of scientific information are lacking. Our results show a troubling generational disconnect between the information-seeking behaviors and parenting practices of rural caregivers.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000678

    View details for PubMedID 31107768