Socioeconomic status, home mathematics environment and math achievement in kindergarten: a mediation analysis

David Muñez*, Rebecca Bull, Kerry Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that parents’ practices contribute to their children's cognitive development and that such practices may reflect SES disparities. This study investigated longitudinal interrelations between home mathematics environment (HME), children's math achievement, and two facets of SES (mother's educational attainment and household income—subsidy status) during the first year in kindergarten (n = 500 children; Mage at T1 = 57.3 months, SD = 3.8). Results revealed that these facets of SES operated through different mechanisms in kindergarten—the association between mothers’ education and math growth at the end of K1 is fully mediated by HME and children's baseline math knowledge. Furthermore, only home math activities that explicitly supported the understanding of addition and subtraction contributed to children's math growth independently of SES background. The pattern of longitudinal associations suggests that the provision of home math activities may reflect children's mathematical abilities rather than SES disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13135
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Science
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • early childhood
  • home mathematics environment
  • math
  • SES

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