Individual differences in early numeracy: The role of executive functions and subitizing

E.H. Kroesbergen*, J.E.H. van Luit, E.C.D.M. van Lieshout, E. van Loosbroek, B.A.M. van de Rijt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this study, the question was raised how basic cognitive processes are related to math abilities and how it can be best determined which children are at risk for developing those disabilities. The role of four distinct basic processes in the development of early mathematics was investigated: executive functions, fluid intelligence, subitizing, and language. The counting skills of 115 five- and six-year-old children were also assessed. The results showed that both executive functions and number sense were important factors in children's development of counting skills. Both executive functions and subitizing explained a significant part of variance in children's counting skills. IQ scores could not add further explanation to the variance in early math. The implications of this study are that it seems promising to use the concept of executive functions for the early identification of children at risk for math learning difficulties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-236
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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