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ERIC Number: EJ965359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
The Development of Executive Functions and Early Mathematics: A Dynamic Relationship
Van der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Boom, Jan; Leseman, Paul P. M.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v82 n1 p100-119 Mar 2012
Background: The relationship between executive functions and mathematical skills has been studied extensively, but results are inconclusive, and how this relationship evolves longitudinally is largely unknown. Aim: The aim was to investigate the factor structure of executive functions in inhibition, shifting, and updating; the longitudinal development of executive functions and mathematics; and the relation between them. Sample: A total of 211 children in grade 2 (7-8 years old) from 10 schools in the Netherlands. Method: Children were followed in grade 1 and 2 of primary education. Executive functions and mathematics were measured four times. The test battery contained multiple tasks for each executive function: Animal stroop, local global, and Simon task for inhibition; Animal Shifting, Trail Making Test in Colours, and Sorting Task for shifting; and Digit Span Backwards, Odd One Out, and Keep Track for updating. The factor structure of executive functions was assessed and relations with mathematics were investigated using growth modelling. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed that inhibition and shifting could not be distinguished from each other. Updating was a separate factor, and its development was strongly related to mathematical development while inhibition and shifting did not predict mathematics in the presence of the updating factor. Conclusions: The strong relationship between updating and mathematics suggest that updating skills play a key role in the maths learning process. This makes updating a promising target for future intervention studies. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands