Mathematics difficulty with and without reading difficulty: Findings and implications from a four-year longitudinal study

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Abstract

An overarching question guided this study: What is mathematics difficulty (MD) independent of reading difficulty (RD)? The sample included 203 children whom the researchers followed from kindergarten to third grade. The researchers used latent growth modeling to investigate the relationship between MD and measures of working memory, short-term memory, cognitive processing speed, early numerical skills, and phonological processing, independent of reading. Two main findings emerged: (a) deficits in early numerical skills were a defining feature of MD with or without RD, and (b) early numerical skills and phonological processing influenced growth in mathematics from kindergarten to third grade. These results indicate that future MD research should focus on numerical and language-based skills, including whether the mathematics disorder in MD-specific or otherwise-reflects underlying language and/or numerical deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-300
Number of pages21
JournalExceptional children
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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