Predicting Mathematical Learning Difficulties Status: The Role of Domain-Specific and Domain-General Skills

Riikka Mononen*, Markku Niemivirta, Johan Korhonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study investigated which domain-specific and domain-general skills measured at grade 1 predict mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) status at grade 3. We used different cut-off criteria and measures of mathematics performance for defining the MLD status. Norwegian children’s (N = 206) numeracy, cognitive, and language skills were measured at grade 1 and arithmetic fluency and curriculum-based mathematics (CBM) at grade 3. Logistic regression analyses showed that symbolic numerical magnitude processing, verbal counting, and rapid automatized naming predicted MLD25 status (performance ≤ 25th percentile) based on arithmetic fluency, whereas verbal counting skills and nonverbal reasoning predicted the status based on CBM. The same predictors were found for MLD10 status (performance ≤ 10th percentile), and in addition, rapid automatized naming also predicted the status based on CBM. Only symbolic numerical magnitude processing and verbal counting predicted LOW status (performance between 11–25th percentile) based on arithmetic fluency, whereas nonverbal reasoning and working memory predicted LOW status based on CBM. Different cut-off scores and mathematics measures used for the definition of MLD status are important to acknowledge, as these seem to lead to relatively significant variation in which students are identified as having MLD and which factors contribute to the MLD status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-352
Journallnternational Electronic Journal of Elementary Education
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • arithmetic
  • counting
  • mathematical learning difficulties
  • nonverbal reasoning
  • rapid automatized naming

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