Brief report—Phonological awareness and visual-spatial sketchpad functioning predict early arithmetic attainment: Evidence from a longitudinal study

Simmons, Fiona; Singleton, Chris and Horne, Joanna (2008). Brief report—Phonological awareness and visual-spatial sketchpad functioning predict early arithmetic attainment: Evidence from a longitudinal study. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 20(4) pp. 711–722.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440701614922

Abstract

This study examines the relationships between phonological awareness, visual-spatial sketchpad (VSSP) functioning and arithmetic attainment in young children. A sample of 42 children had their VSSP functioning and phonological awareness assessed when they were 5 years old. Approximately 12 months later their nonverbal reasoning, vocabulary, arithmetic, and reading attainment were assessed. Together, VSSP functioning, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and nonverbal reasoning predicted 41% of the variation in the children's arithmetic attainment. Only phonological awareness and VSSP functioning were significant independent predictors. In contrast, only phonological awareness was a significant independent predictor of reading attainment. These findings are consistent with phonological awareness influencing both the development of reading and arithmetic, whilst VSSP functioning only impacts on arithmetic development.

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