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Domain-General Abilities and Mathematical Achievement: A Developmental Perspective on the Roles of Executive Functions, Visual-Spatial Skills, and Emotion Regulation

Kahl, Peter Tobias. Domain-General Abilities and Mathematical Achievement: A Developmental Perspective on the Roles of Executive Functions, Visual-Spatial Skills, and Emotion Regulation. 2021, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Psychology.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/82898/

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Abstract

Mathematics, like reading and writing, is a core skill in children’s academic development and has great impact on their later lives. Mathematical achievement depends not only on domain-specific skills but also on domain-general abilities, such as executive functions, visual-spatial skills, and emotion regulation. The current dissertation author investigates the associations between these domain-general abilities and mathematical achievement to increase in-depth understanding of their roles over the course of child development. Until now, it has been unclear whether associations of executive functions, visual-spatial skills, and mathematics change or remain constant across age, whether core components of executive functions and visual-spatial skills are bidirectionally associated with mathematical achievement in primary school students, and whether there are compensating effects on working memory through emotion regulation in children and adolescents. The author conducted three studies to answer these questions and assessed the variables using a broad test battery. Studies 1 and 3 used regression and moderation analyses; study 2 used a cross-lagged model. All statistical models accounted for verbal reasoning, sex, and socio-economic status. Study 1 indicated a significant and age-invariant association between executive functions and mathematical achievement and a significant and age-dependent association between visual-spatial skills and mathematical achievement. Study 2 demonstrated unidirectional associations between visual-spatial skills and mathematical achievement, but bidirectional association between working memory, as a component of executive functions, and mathematical achievement. Study 3 revealed that emotion regulation skills compensate for low working memory skills in children’s and adolescents’ mathematical achievement. In sum, this cumulative dissertation offers a differentiated view of the interrelations among three domain-general abilities and their association with mathematical achievement across child development. The outlook highlights the theoretical and practical value of the present dissertation and implications for future research.
Advisors:Grob, Alexander and Lemola, Sakari
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Persönlichkeits- und Entwicklungspsychologie > Entwicklungs- und Persönlichkeitspsychologie (Grob)
UniBasel Contributors:Grob, Alexander and Lemola, Sakari
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:14091
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:V, 107
Language:English
Identification Number:
  • urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-bau-diss140915
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:08 Jun 2021 04:30
Deposited On:07 Jun 2021 08:55

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