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Fine Motor Skills Predict Maths Ability Better than They Predict Reading Ability in the Early Primary School Years

Pitchford, NJ; Papini, C; Outhwaite, LA; Gulliford, A; (2016) Fine Motor Skills Predict Maths Ability Better than They Predict Reading Ability in the Early Primary School Years. Frontiers in Psychology , 7 , Article 783. 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00783. Green open access

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Abstract

Fine motor skills have long been recognized as an important foundation for development in other domains. However, more precise insights into the role of fine motor skills, and their relationships to other skills in mediating early educational achievements, are needed to support the development of optimal educational interventions. We explored concurrent relationships between two components of fine motor skills, Fine Motor Precision and Fine Motor Integration, and early reading and maths development in two studies with primary school children of low-to-mid socio-economic status in the UK. Two key findings were revealed. First, despite being in the first 2 years of primary school education, significantly better performance was found in reading compared to maths across both studies. This may reflect the protective effects of recent nationallevel interventions to promote early literacy skills in young children in the UK that have not been similarly promoted for maths. Second, fine motor skills were a better predictor of early maths ability than they were of early reading ability. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that fine motor skills did not significantly predict reading ability when verbal short-term memory was taken into account. In contrast, Fine Motor Integration remained a significant predictor of maths ability, even after the influence of non-verbal IQ had been accounted for. These results suggest that fine motor skills should have a pivotal role in educational interventions designed to support the development of early mathematical skills.

Type: Article
Title: Fine Motor Skills Predict Maths Ability Better than They Predict Reading Ability in the Early Primary School Years
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00783
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00783
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Multidisciplinary, Psychology, fine motor skills, literacy, maths, executive functions, socio-economic status, early years education, DEVELOPMENTAL COORDINATION DISORDER, TYPICALLY DEVELOPING-CHILDREN, EARLY NUMERACY SKILLS, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT, ACADEMIC-ACHIEVEMENT, NUMERICAL DEVELOPMENT, 6-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN, COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS, WORKING-MEMORY
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058085
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