Numerical Capacities as Domain-Specific Predictors beyond Early Mathematics Learning: A Longitudinal Study.
January 20, 2017
The first aim of the present study was to investigate whether numerical effects (Numerical Distance Effect, Counting Effect and Subitizing Effect) are domain-specific predictors of mathematics development at the end of elementary school by exploring whether they explain additional variance of later mathematics fluency after controlling for the effects of general cognitive skills, focused on nonnumerical aspects. The second aim was to address the same issues but applied to achievement in mathematics curriculum that requires solutions to fluency in calculation. These analyses assess whether the relationship found for fluency are generalized to mathematics content beyond fluency in calculation. As a third aim, the domain specificity of the numerical effects was examined by analyzing whether they contribute to the development of reading skills, such as decoding fluency and reading comprehension, after controlling for general cognitive skills and phonological processing. Basic numerical capacities were evaluated in children of 3rd and 4th grades (n=49). Mathematics and reading achievements were assessed in these children one year later. Results showed that the size of the Subitizing Effect was a significant domain-specific predictor of fluency in calculation and also in curricular mathematics achievement, but not in reading skills, assessed at the end of elementary school. Furthermore, the size of the Counting Effect also predicted fluency in calculation, although this association only approached significance. These findings contrast with proposals that the core numerical competencies measured by enumeration will bear little relationship to mathematics achievement. We conclude that basic numerical capacities constitute domain-specific predictors and that they are not exclusively “start-up” tools for the acquisition of Mathematics; but they continue modulating this learning at the end of elementary school. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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- Reigosa-Crespo, V., González-Alemañy, E., León, T., Torres, R., Mosquera, R., & Valdés-Sosa, M. (2013). Numerical Capacities as Domain-Specific Predictors beyond Early Mathematics Learning: A Longitudinal Study.. PLoS ONE, 8(11), 1. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079711