Executive functions as predictors of math learning disabilities
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Learning Disabilities, 44, 6, (2011), pp. 521-532
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Learning Disabilities
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
In the past years, an increasing number of studies have investigated executive functions as predictors of individual differences in mathematical abilities. The present longitudinal study was designed to investigate whether the executive functions shifting, inhibition, and working memory differ between low achieving and typically achieving children and whether these executive functions can be seen as precursors to math learning disabilities in children. Furthermore, the predictive value of working memory ability compared to preparatory mathematical abilities was examined. Two classifications were made based on (persistent) mathematical ability in first and second grade. Repeated measures analyses and discriminant analyses were used to investigate which functions predicted group membership best. Group differences in performance were found on one inhibition and three working memory tasks. The working memory tasks predicted math learning disabilities, even over and above the predictive value of preparatory mathematical abilities.
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