The interrelationships of mathematical precursors in kindergarten
Cirino, Paul T.
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This study evaluated the interrelations among cognitive precursors across quantitative, linguistic, and spatial attention domains that have been implicated for math achievement in young children. The dimensionality of the quantity precursors was evaluated in 286 Kindergarteners via latent variable techniques, and the contribution of precursors from each domain was established for small sums addition. Results showed a five factor structure for the quantity precursors with the major distinction between nonsymbolic and symbolic tasks. The overall model demonstrated good fit, and strong predictive power (R2 = 55%) for addition number combinations. Linguistic and spatial attention domains showed indirect relationships with outcomes, with their effects mediated by symbolic quantity measures. These results have implications for the measurement of mathematical precursors, and yield promise for predicting future math performance.