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Cognitive conditions of children at risk of developing mathematical learning disabilities
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Various hypotheses have been advanced regarding the origin of mathematical learning disabilities (MLD). The present study set out to test a number of hypotheses regarding the underlying condition for the development of MLD, namely: the domain general hypothesis, number sense deficit, numerosity coding deficit, access deficit and multiple deficits. These hypotheses were tested on a sample of eight-year-old children that was divided into three groups: MLD (N = 13), typical achievers (TA, N = 57) and high achievers (HA, N = 25) based on a longitudinal approach of stability in performance on arithmetic tests. The development of the three groups was also assessed using data from preschool to grade two. The results revealed support for the hypothesis of multiple deficits that are primarily located in intraparietal sulci (IPS) and manifest themselves as both number sense deficits and deficits in spatial processing. This type of deficit is supported by less developed general abilities in the domains of both phonological ability and nonverbal intelligence, resulting in poorer number knowledge for those children at risk of MLD. The HA group displayed a superior early number knowledge in combination with superior domain general abilities, which support the development of number knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
Mathematical learning disability, development of arithmetic skills, number knowledge, spatial ability, number sense deficit
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-96798OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-96798DiVA: diva2:643379
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2013-08-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mathematical Learning Disability: Cognitive Conditions, Development and Predictions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mathematical Learning Disability: Cognitive Conditions, Development and Predictions
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Matematiska inlärningssvårigheter : Kognitiva förutsättningar, utveckling och prediktioner
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present thesis was to test and contrast hypotheses about the cognitive conditions that support the development of mathematical learning disability (MLD). Following hypotheses were tested in the thesis: a) domain general deficit, the deficit is primarily located in the domain general systems such as the working memory, b) number sense deficit, the deficit is located in the innate approximate number system (ANS), c) numerosity coding deficit, the deficit is located to a exact number representation system, d) access deficit, the deficit is in the mapping between symbols and the innate number representational system (e.g., ANS), e) multiple deficit hypothesis states that MLD could be related to more than one deficit.

Three studies examined the connection between cognitive abilities and arithmetic. Study one and three compared different groups of children with or without MLD (or risk of MLD). Study two investigated the connection between early number knowledge, verbal working memory and the development of arithmetic ability.

The results favoring the multiple deficit hypothesis, more specifically the result indicate that number sense deficit together with working memory functions constitutes risk-factors to the development of MLD in children. A simple developmental model that is based on von Asters and Shalev´s (2007) model and the present results is suggested, in order to understand the development of MLD in children.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingens syfte var att testa och kontrastera hypoteser om vilka kognitiva förutsättningar som är centrala för utvecklandet av matematiska inlärningssvårigheter (MLD) hos barn. De hypoteser som prövas i avhandlingen är följande: a) den domängenerella hypotesen, detta innebär att den förmodade störningen/nedsättningen finns primärt i barnets generella förmågor, främst då i arbetsminnes funktioner. b) en nedsättning i den medfödda approximativa antalsuppfattningen. c) nedsättning i den exakta antalskodningen. d) nedsättning gällande kopplingen mellan den kulturellt betingande symboliska nivå (räkneord och siffror) samt den medfödda antalsuppfattningen (eller antalskodningen). e) slutligen prövas även hypotesen att MLD kan härröras från flera nedsättningar i dessa förmågor.

I tre studier undersöktes kopplingen mellan kognitiva förmågor och aritmetik. i studie1 och 3 jämfördes grupper av barn med MLD (eller risk för MLD) med grupper av barn som inte hade MLD i studie 2 undersöktes kopplingen mellan förmågorna verbalt arbetsminne och tidig sifferkunskap samt tidig aritmetiskförmåga.

Sammantaget indikerar resultaten från denna avhandling att det kan vara både multipla och enstaka kognitiva förmågor, primärt i den approximativa antalsuppfattningen samt i arbetsminnesfunktioner, som kan fungera som riskförutsättningar för utvecklande av MLD hos barn. Dock måste dessa förmågor samspela med andra faktorer som kan fungera kompensatoriskt eller riskhöjande för utvecklandet av MLD. En förenklad utvecklingsmodell med utgångspunkten i resultaten från studierna samt von Asters och Shalevs (2007) modell föreslås. Syftet med modellen är att den ska kunna användas som teoretiskt ramverk för att förstå utvecklingen av MLD hos barn.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 56 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 584Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 177
Keyword
Mathematical learning disability, dyscalculia, mathematical cognition, number sense, Matematiska inlärningssvårigheter, dyskalkyli, matematisk kognition, antalsuppfattning
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-96799 (URN)978-91-7519-565-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-09-13, I:101, Hus I, Camus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2013-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Östergren, RickardSkagerlund, KennyTräff, Ulf

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