NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1161388
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Girls' Spatial Skills and Arithmetic Strategies in First Grade as Predictors of Fifth-Grade Analytical Math Reasoning
Casey, Beth M.; Lombardi, Caitlin McPherran; Pollock, Amanda; Fineman, Bonnie; Pezaris, Elizabeth
Journal of Cognition and Development, v18 n5 p530-555 2017
This study investigated longitudinal pathways leading from early spatial skills in first-grade girls to their fifth-grade analytical math reasoning abilities (N = 138). First-grade assessments included spatial skills, verbal skills, addition/subtraction skills, and frequency of choice of a decomposition or retrieval strategy on the addition/subtraction problems. In fifth grade, girls were given an arithmetic fluency test, a mental rotation spatial task, and a numeric and algebra math reasoning test. Using structural equation modeling, the estimated path model accounted for 87% of the variance in math reasoning. First-grade spatial skills had a direct pathway to fifth-grade math reasoning as well as an indirect pathway through first-grade decomposition strategy use. The total effect of first-grade spatial skills was significantly higher in predicting fifth-grade math reasoning than all other predictors. First-grade decomposition strategy use had the second strongest total effect, while retrieval strategy use did not predict fifth-grade math reasoning. It was first-grade spatial skills (not fifth-grade) that directly predicted fifth-grade math reasoning. Consequently, the results support the importance of early spatial skills in predicting later math. As expected, decomposition strategy use in first grade was linked to fifth-grade math reasoning indirectly through first-grade arithmetic accuracy and fifth-grade arithmetic fluency. However, frequency of first-grade decomposition use also showed a direct pathway to fifth-grade arithmetic reasoning, again stressing the importance of these early cognitive processes on later math reasoning.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Block Design Test; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study; National Assessment of Educational Progress; Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; Vandenberg Mental Rotations Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement
Grant or Contract Numbers: HRD1231623