Early Executive Function and Mathematics Relations: Correlation Does Not Ensure Concordance

Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Jenny Yun Chen Chan, Allison M. Bock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we address one potentially overlooked component of the relation between executive function (EF) skills and early mathematics, a relation for which there is widespread empirical support. Evidence for this relation has, thus far, been largely correlational. Here we emphasize that because positive correlations do not guarantee concordance among all members of a sample or population, a small but meaningful number of children may either fare well in mathematics despite poor EF skills, or may have strong EF skills despite weak mathematics skills. We propose that attention to different profiles of discordance for EF and mathematics may help identify individualized learning needs for students at risk for mathematics difficulties and disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
ISSN (Print)0065-2407

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Early math
  • Executive function
  • Mathematics learning difficulties

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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