First-grade predictors of mathematical learning disability: A latent class trajectory analysis

David C. Geary, Drew H. Bailey, Andrew Littlefield, Phillip Wood, Mary K. Hoard, Lara Nugent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Kindergarten to third grade mathematics achievement scores from a prospective study of mathematical development (n = 306) were subjected to latent growth trajectory analyses. The four corresponding classes included children with mathematical learning disability (MLD, 6% of sample), and low (LA, 50%), typically (TA, 39%) and high (HA, 5%) achieving children. The groups were administered a battery of intelligence (IQ), working memory, and mathematical-cognition measures in first grade. The children with MLD had general deficits in working memory and IQ and potentially more specific deficits on measures of number sense. The LA children did not have working memory or IQ deficits but showed moderate deficits on these number sense measures and for addition fact retrieval. The distinguishing features of the HA children were a strong visuospatial working memory, a strong number sense, and frequent use of memory-based processes to solve addition problems. Implications for the early identification of children at risk for poor mathematics achievement are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-429
Number of pages19
JournalCognitive Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


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