This study investigated the role of broad cognitive processes in the development of mathematics skills among children and adolescents. Four hundred and forty-seven students (age mean [M] = 10.23 years, 73% boys and 27% girls) from an elementary school district in the US southwest participated. Structural equation modelling tests indicated that calculation complexity was predicted by long-term retrieval and working memory; calculation fluency was predicted by perceptual processing speed, phonetic coding, and visual processing; problem solving was predicted by fluid reasoning, crystallised knowledge, working memory, and perceptual processing speed. Younger students’ problem solving skills were more strongly associated with fluid reasoning skills, relative to older students. Conversely, older students’ problem solving skills were more strongly associated with crystallised knowledge skills, relative to younger students. Findings are consistent with the theoretical suggestion that broad cognitive processes play specific roles in the development of mathematical skills among children and adolescents. Implications for educational psychologists are discussed.
- cognitive processes
- educational psychology theory and practice
- Mathematics development
- mathematics learning difficulties
- structural equation modelling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology