A1 Journal article (refereed)
Verbal counting skill predicts later math performance and difficulties in middle school (2019)

Koponen, T., Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2019). Verbal counting skill predicts later math performance and difficulties in middle school. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 59, Article 101803. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2019.101803

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Koponen, Tuire; Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

Journal or series: Contemporary Educational Psychology

ISSN: 0361-476X

eISSN: 1090-2384

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 59

Article number: 101803

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2019.101803

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67227


This study examined the role of verbal counting skill as an early predictor of math performance and difficulties (at or below −1.5 standard deviation in basic math skills) in middle school. The role of fourth-grade level arithmetical skills (i.e., calculation fluency, multi-digit arithmetic i.e. procedural calculation, and word problem solving) as mediators was also investigated. The participants included 207 children in central Finland who were studied from kindergarten to the seventh grade. Path modeling showed that verbal counting in kindergarten is a strong predictor for basic math performance in seventh grade, explaining even 52% of the variance in these skills after controlling for the mothers’ education levels. This association between early verbal counting skill and basic math performance was partly mediated through fourth-grade procedural calculation and word problem solving skills. Furthermore, verbal counting had an unique predictive relation to middle school math performance above and beyond the basic arithmetical and problem solving skills in fourth grade. Poor kindergarten verbal counting skill was a significant indicator for later difficulties in mathematics.

Keywords: mathematical thinking; problem solving; counting; mathematical skills; learning; learning difficulties; children (age groups); pupils; longitudinal research

Free keywords: verbal counting; math; learning difficulties; longitudinal research; Phonological Awareness; Word Reading; Dyslexia

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 13:42