ERIC Number: EJ1110389
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Visual Working Memory and Number Sense: Testing the Double Deficit Hypothesis in Mathematics
Toll, Sylke W. M.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Van Luit, Johannes E. H.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v86 n3 p429-445 Sep 2016
Background: Evidence exists that there are two main underlying cognitive factors in mathematical difficulties: working memory and number sense. It is suggested that real math difficulties appear when both working memory and number sense are weak, here referred to as the double deficit (DD) hypothesis. Aims: The aim of this study was to test the DD hypothesis within a longitudinal time span of 2 years. Sample: A total of 670 children participated. The mean age was 4.96 years at the start of the study and 7.02 years at the end of the study. Methods: At the end of the first year of kindergarten, both visual--spatial working memory and number sense were measured by two different tasks. At the end of first grade, mathematical performance was measured with two tasks, one for math facts and one for math problems. Results: Multiple regressions revealed that both visual working memory and symbolic number sense are predictors of mathematical performance in first grade. Symbolic number sense appears to be the strongest predictor for both math areas (math facts and math problems). Non-symbolic number sense only predicts performance in math problems. Multivariate analyses of variance showed that a combination of visual working memory and number sense deficits (NSDs) leads to the lowest performance on mathematics. Conclusions: Our DD hypothesis was confirmed. Both visual working memory and symbolic number sense in kindergarten are related to mathematical performance 2 years later, and a combination of visual working memory and NSDs leads to low performance in mathematical performance.
Descriptors: Young Children, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Short Term Memory, Visual Perception, Mathematics Skills, Learning Disabilities, Number Concepts, Hypothesis Testing, Longitudinal Studies, Measures (Individuals), Multiple Regression Analysis, Predictor Variables, Multivariate Analysis, Low Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Spatial Ability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Elementary Education
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Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A