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J Exp Child Psychol. 2005 Jun;91(2):113-36. Epub 2005 Mar 19.

The cognitive foundations of reading and arithmetic skills in 7- to 10-year-olds.

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Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, York Y010 5DD, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Exp Child Psychol. 2006 Mar;93(3):282-3.


A range of possible predictors of arithmetic and reading were assessed in a large sample (N=162) of children between ages 7 years 5 months and 10 years 4 months. A confirmatory factor analysis of the predictors revealed a good fit to a model consisting of four latent variables (verbal ability, nonverbal ability, search speed, and phonological memory) and two manifest variables (digit comparison and phoneme deletion). A path analysis showed that digit comparison and verbal ability were unique predictors of variations in arithmetic skills, whereas phoneme deletion and verbal ability were unique predictors of variations in reading skills. These results confirm earlier findings that phoneme deletion ability appears to be a critical foundation for learning to read (decode). In addition, variations in the speed of accessing numerical quantity information appear to be a critical foundation for the development of arithmetic skills.

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