Inhibitory control in preschool predicts early math skills in first grade: Evidence from an ethnically diverse sample

Florrie Fei Yin Ng, Catherine Tamis-Lemonda, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Irene Nga Lam Sze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Preschoolers' inhibitory control and early math skills were concurrently and longitudinally examined in 255 Chinese, African American, Dominican, and Mexican 4-year-olds in the United States. Inhibitory control at age 4, assessed with a peg-tapping task, was associated with early math skills at age 4 and predicted growth in such skills from age 4 to age 6 among these ethnic minority children after adjusting for ethnic background. Chinese children outperformed other groups on inhibitory control at age 4 and early math skills across ages. Mediation analyses indicated that their advanced inhibitory control at age 4 partially accounted for their advantage in early math skills concurrently at age 4 and longitudinally at age 6, highlighting the role of inhibitory control in the early math skills of ethnic minority children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 31 2015

Keywords

  • early math skills
  • ethnicity
  • executive function
  • inhibitory control
  • school readiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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