Errors in multi-digit arithmetic and behavioral inattention in children with math difficulties


Errors in written multi-digit computation were investigated in children with math difficulties. Third-and fourth-grade children (n = 291) with coexisting math and reading difficulties, math difficulties, reading difficulties, or no learning difficulties were compared. A second analysis compared those with severe math learning difficulties, low average achievement in math, and no learning difficulties. Math fact errors were related to the severity of the math difficulties, not to reading status. Contrary to predictions, children with poorer reading, regardless of math achievement, committed more visually based errors. Operation switch errors were not systematically related to group membership. Teacher ratings of behavioral inattention were related to accuracy, math fact errors, and procedural bugs. The findings are discussed with respect to hypotheses about the cognitive origins of arithmetic errors and in relation to current discussions about how to conceptualize math disabilities.



Mathematical disabilities, Multi-digit arithmetic, Attention


Copyright 2009 Journal of Learning Disabilities. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Raghubar, Kimberly, Paul T. Cirino, Marcia Barnes, Linda Ewing-Cobbs, Jack M. Fletcher, and Lynn Fuchs. "Errors in Multi-Digit Arithmetic and Behavioral Inattention in Children With Math Difficulties." Journal of Learning Disabilities 42, no. 4 (2009): 356-371. doi: 10.1177/0022219409335211. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.