Maternal support of children's early numerical concept learning predicts preschool and first-grade math achievement
The primary goal in this study was to examine maternal support of numerical concepts at 36 months as predictors of math achievement at 4 1/2 and 6-7 years. Observational measures of mother-child interactions (n = 140) were used to examine type of support for numerical concepts. Maternal support that involved labeling the quantities of sets of objects was predictive of later child math achievement. This association was significant for preschool (d = .45) and first-grade math (d = .49), controlling for other forms of numerical support (identifying numerals, one-to-one counting) as well as potential confounding factors. The importance of maternal support of labeling set sizes at 36 months is discussed as a precursor to children's eventual understanding of the cardinal principle. (author abstract)
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