NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1172196
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0964-2633
Low Performance on Mathematical Tasks in Preschoolers: The Importance of Domain-General and Domain-Specific Abilities
Costa, H. M.; Nicholson, B.; Donlan, C.; Van Herwegen, J.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v62 n4 p292-302 Apr 2018
Background: Different domain-specific and domain-general cognitive precursors play a key role in the development of mathematical abilities. The contribution of these domains to mathematical ability changes during development. Primary school-aged children who show mathematical difficulties form a heterogeneous group, but it is not clear whether this also holds for preschool low achievers (LAs) and how domain-specific and domain-general abilities contribute to mathematical difficulties at a young age. The aim of this study was to explore the cognitive characteristics of a sample of preschool LAs and identify sub-types of LAs. Methods: 81 children were identified as LAs from 283 preschoolers aged 3 to 5 years old and were assessed on a number of domain-general and domain-specific tasks. Results: Cluster analysis revealed four subgroups of LAs in mathematics: (1) a weak processing sub-type; (2) a general mathematical LAs sub-type; (3) a mixed abilities sub-type; and (4) a visuo-spatial deficit sub-type. Whilst two of the groups showed specific domain-general difficulties, none showed only domain-specific difficulties. Conclusions: Current findings suggest that preschool LAs constitute a heterogeneous group and stress the importance of domain-general factors for the development of mathematical abilities during the preschool years.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A