A1 Journal article (refereed)
Development of Numeracy and Literacy Skills in Early Childhood : A Longitudinal Study on the Roles of Home Environment and Familial Risk for Reading and Math Difficulties (2021)

Salminen, J., Khanolainen, D., Koponen, T., Torppa, M., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2021). Development of Numeracy and Literacy Skills in Early Childhood : A Longitudinal Study on the Roles of Home Environment and Familial Risk for Reading and Math Difficulties. Frontiers in Education, 6, Article 725337. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2021.725337

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Salminen, Jenni; Khanolainen, Daria; Koponen, Tuire; Torppa, Minna; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina

Journal or series: Frontiers in Education

eISSN: 2504-284X

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 28/10/2021

Volume: 6

Article number: 725337

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2021.725337

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79043


This study examines the direct and indirect effects of home numeracy and literacy environment, and parental factors (parental reading and math difficulties, and parental education) on the development of several early numeracy and literacy skills. The 265 participating Finnish children were assessed four times between ages 2.5 and 6.5. Children’s skills in counting objects, number production, number sequence knowledge, number symbol knowledge, number naming, vocabulary, print knowledge, and letter knowledge were assessed individually. Parents (N = 202) reported on their education level, learning difficulties in math and reading (familial risk, FR), and home learning environment separately for numeracy (HNE) and literacy (HLE) while their children were 2.5 years old and again while they were 5.5 years old. The results revealed both within-domain and cross-domain associations. Parents’ mathematical difficulties (MD) and reading difficulties (RD) and home numeracy environment predicted children’s numeracy and literacy skill development within and across domains. An evocative effect was found as well; children’s skills in counting, number sequence knowledge, number symbol identification, and letter knowledge negatively predicted later home numeracy and literacy activities. There were no significant indirect effects from parents’ RD, MD, or educational level on children’s skills via HLE or HNE. Our study highlights that parental RD and MD, parental education, and the home learning environment form a complex pattern of associations with children’s numeracy and literacy skills starting already in toddlerhood.

Keywords: early childhood; toddlers; preschool children (age group); mathematical skills; language development; literacy; family background; domestic environment; longitudinal research

Free keywords: numeracy skills; literacy skills; familial risk; home numeracy environment (HNE); home literacy environment (HLE)

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:06