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ERIC Number: ED566040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 244
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3036-9744-9
"Math Talk" in Families of Preschool-Aged Children: Frequency and Relations to Children's Early Math Skills across Time
Susperreguy Jorquera, Maria Ines
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Early math skills are the strongest predictors of later math achievement in school. This two-wave study addressed three research questions about the role of families in fostering these skills in preschool-aged children. First, how do families talk about math at home? Second, how do these conversations vary across families with different educational levels? And third, how do math-related conversations and reported math-related practices relate to early math skills when children are attending preschool and a year later? The current study analyzed four hours of mother-child naturalistic conversations about math (i.e., math talk) from each of 40 families, who recorded their exchanges in their homes using a recording device (Language ENvironment Analysis System, LENA). The results found variability in math talk, in terms of the number, length, type, and complexity of the conversations. Families frequently engaged in exchanges involving "naming numbers," "ordinal numbers," and referring to numbers in the context of "time." However, the majority of the math talk did not involve a higher level of complexity. The results also found that families with higher educational attainment engaged in more "naming numbers" math talk, had a larger amount of conversations about "fractions," and were involved in longer exchanges including "fractional values," compared to those with a lower educational level. Conversely, mothers with less education involved their children in a higher proportion of "counting" exchanges than their counterparts with more education. Moreover, being exposed to more utterances of math talk involving "fractions" was related to children's math performance a year after the recordings, even after controlling for children's cognitive and academic skills. In addition, the number of times in which families engaged in "naming numbers" was correlated with math achievement in the first wave of the study, whereas the length of "counting" exchanges was negatively correlated with math achievement in the second wave. Also, engaging in math-related activities at home was positively associated with children's math skills, whereas engaging in counting games was negatively correlated with children's math performance. Finally, other skills, such as children's early vocabulary, reading skills, and self-regulation, were relevant in explaining children's early math skills. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A