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The multifactorial nature of early numeracy and its stability

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journal contribution
posted on 03.12.2020, 13:40 by David Braeuning, Andrew Ribner, Korbinian Moeller, Clancy Blair
Early numeracy is a robust predictor of later mathematical abilities. So far, early numeracy has typically been presented as a unitary or two-factorial construct. Nevertheless, there is recent evidence suggesting that it may also be reflected by more basic numerical competences. However, the structure and stability of such a multifactorial model of early numeracy over time has not been investigated yet. In the present study, we used data from a large, longitudinal sample (N = 1292) in the United States with assessments of math ability in prekindergarten and kindergarten to evaluate both the factorial structure of early numeracy and its stability over time. Confirmatory factor analysis identified four distinct basic numerical competences making up early numeracy in prekindergarten: patterning/geometry, number sense, arithmetic, and data analysis/statistics. Stability as tested by means of measurement invariance indicated configural invariance of these four factors from prekindergarten to kindergarten. This reflected that early numeracy in kindergarten was made up by the same four basic numerical competences as in prekindergarten and thus seemed rather stable over the course of preschool. These findings may not only have implications for research on numerical cognition but particularly for diagnostic processes or the development of interventions in educational practice.

Funding

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grants R01 HD51502 and P01 HD39667

National Institute on Drug Abuse

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Frontiers in Psychology

Volume

11

Publisher

Frontiers Media

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Frontiers Media under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

07/10/2020

Publication date

2020-11-04

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

1664-1078

eISSN

1664-1078

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Korbinian Moeller. Deposit date: 2 December 2020

Article number

518981

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