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Inhibitory Processes, Working Memory, Phonological Awareness, Naming Speed, and Early Arithmetic Achievement

  • Jose I. Navarro (a1), Manuel Aguilar (a1), Concepcion Alcalde (a1), Gonzalo Ruiz (a1), Esperanza Marchena (a1) and Inmaculada Menacho (a1)...
Abstract

This study identified the cognitive processes that underlie the individual differences in early mathematical performance in elementary school children. Taking into account the Baddeley framework multicomponent model, the inhibitory processes, working memory, phonological awareness, and naming speed are considered to be related to early math learning. To examine this relationship, we compared the performance of a total of 424 typically developing middle-class children, aged between 4 and 7 years in a battery of cognitive and early numeric tests: The Utrecht Early Numeracy Test, the Rapid Automatized Naming Test, Spanish version of the Stroop task, the Numeracy Interference Test, Digit Span test, and Phonological Knowledge Test. The mean age of the participants was 72.21 months (sd = 14.8), and 48.6% were male and 51.4% were female. The results demonstrated that children performing worst on central executive, phonological processing, and inhibitory processes showed lower results in early mathematical tasks measured by The Utrecht Early Numeracy Test. Results supported the notion that the executive system is an important predictor of children's mathematical performance.

En este trabajo se identificaron las variables que están en la base de las diferencias de rendimiento en matemáticas en los primeros años de escolarización. Teniendo en cuenta el modelo multicomponente de Baddeley, se ha considerado que los procesos inhibitorios, la memoria de trabajo, la conciencia fonológica y la velocidad de denominación están a la base del aprendizaje matemático temprano. Con el fin de examinar esta relación se ha evaluado a un total de 424 escolares de 4 a 7 años (48,6 % eran niños y 51,4 % niñas) con una batería de pruebas cognitivas y de rendimiento matemático: el test de Utrech de matemática temprana, el test de velocidad de nominación, la versión española de la tarea de Stroop, un test de memoria de dígitos y un test de conciencia fonológica. Los resultados mostraron que aquellos alumnos que obtenían peores resultados en memoria de trabajo, conciencia fonológica y procesos inhibitorios, mostraban también peores resultados en tareas matemáticas evaluadas por el test de Utrech. Estos resultados apoyan la noción de que el funcionamiento de los procesos ejecutivos puede predecir los resultados en actividades de matemáticas tempranas.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to José Navarro. Departamento de Psicología, Universidad de Cádiz. Campus Rio San Pedro, 11510 Puerto Real – Cádiz (Spain). Phone: +34-956 016217, Fax: + 34-956 016253. E-mail: jose.navarro@uca.es
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
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