In the current study, we adopted the Pathways to Mathematics model of LeFevre et al. (2010). In this model, there are three cognitive domains-labeled as the quantitative, linguistic, and working memory pathways-that make unique contributions to children's mathematical development. We attempted to refine the quantitative pathway by combining children's (N=. 141 in Grades 2 and 3) subitizing, counting, and symbolic magnitude comparison skills using principal components analysis. The quantitative pathway was examined in relation to dependent numerical measures (backward counting, arithmetic fluency, calculation, and number system knowledge) and a dependent reading measure, while simultaneously accounting for linguistic and working memory skills. Analyses controlled for processing speed, parental education, and gender. We hypothesized that the quantitative, linguistic, and working memory pathways would account for unique variance in the numerical outcomes; this was the case for backward counting and arithmetic fluency. However, only the quantitative and linguistic pathways (not working memory) accounted for unique variance in calculation and number system knowledge. Not surprisingly, only the linguistic pathway accounted for unique variance in the reading measure. These findings suggest that the relative contributions of quantitative, linguistic, and working memory skills vary depending on the specific cognitive task.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cognitive ability, Linguistic skills, Mathematics, Numeracy, Quantitative skills, Working memory
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Sowinski, C, LeFevre, J.-A, Skwarchuk, S.-L. (Sheri-Lynn), Kamawar, D, Bisanz, J. (Jeffrey), & Smith-Chant, B. (Brenda). (2015). Refining the quantitative pathway of the Pathways to Mathematics model. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 131, 73–93. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2014.11.004