Combining cash transfers and cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce antisocial behavior in young men: A mediation analysis of a randomized controlled trial in Liberia

Interventions that combine cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with unconditional cash transfers (UCT) reduce the risk of antisocial behavior (ASB), but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In this paper, we test the role of psychological and cognitive mechanisms in explaining this effect. We assessed the mediating role of executive function, self-control, and time preferences. UCT and CBT lead to improvements in ASB, even in the absence of mediation via psychological and cognitive functions. Findings suggest that the causal mechanisms may involve non-psychological pathways.