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Working memory predictors of mathematics across the middle primary school years.

Allen, K. and Giofrè, D. and Higgins, S. and Adams, J. (2020) 'Working memory predictors of mathematics across the middle primary school years.', British journal of educational psychology., 90 (3). pp. 848-869.

Abstract

Background: Work surrounding the relationship between visuospatial working memory (WM) and mathematics performance is gaining significant traction as a result of a focus on improving academic attainment. Aims: This study examined the relative contributions of verbal and visuospatial simple and complex WM measures to mathematics in primary school children aged 6–10 years. Sample: A sample of 111 children in years 2–5 were assessed (Mage = 100.06 months, SD = 14.47). Method: Children were tested individually on all memory measures, followed by a separate mathematics testing session as a class group in the same assessment wave. Results and Conclusions: Results revealed an age‐dependent relationship, with a move towards visuospatial influence in older children. Further analyses demonstrated that backward word span and backward matrices contributed unique portions of variance of mathematics, regardless of the regression model specified. We discuss possible explanations for our preliminary findings in relation to the existing literature alongside their implications for educators and further research.

Item Type:Article
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12339
Publisher statement:© 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Educational Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Psychological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:09 January 2020
Date deposited:06 February 2020
Date of first online publication:30 January 2020
Date first made open access:06 February 2020

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