Early mathematics achievement of boys and girls: Do differences in early self-regulation pathways explain later achievement?

Williams, Kate E., White, Sonia L.J., & MacDonald, Amy (2016) Early mathematics achievement of boys and girls: Do differences in early self-regulation pathways explain later achievement? Learning and Individual Differences, 51, pp. 199-209.

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Abstract

The degree to which a true gender gap exists in mathematics achievement is still debated, and empirically-supported explanations for any gap rarely address very early childhood self-regulatory pathways. This study examines whether mathematics achievement at 8-9 years differs by gender, how achievement is associated with self-regulatory pathways beginning at 2-3 years of age, and whether these pathways differ by gender. Participants were 5,107 children involved in the nationally-representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Boys outperformed girls in mathematics achievement and girls generally had better early attentional and emotional regulation. Path analysis revealed that attentional regulation was directly associated with mathematics achievement from 4-5 years, and emotional regulation was indirectly associated. These self-regulatory pathways to mathematics achievement were not moderated by gender. We discuss the implications for further research and new approaches to early years mathematics education that embed self-regulatory support and development for all children.

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ID Code: 99684
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: This paper uses unit record data from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). The study is conducted in partnership between the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The findings and views reported in this paper are those of the authors and should not be attributed to DSS, AIFS or the ABS. This study was supported by the Charles Sturt University-led Excellence in Research in Early Years Education Cooperative Research Network (in partnership with Queensland University of Technology and Monash University). The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance provided through the CRN skills development activities, and would like to thank the members of the CRN who provided valuable feedback on this article.
Keywords: mathematics, self-regulation, gender, early childhood
DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.09.006
ISSN: 1041-6080
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution; Non-Commercial; No-Derivatives 4.0 International. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.09.006
Deposited On: 05 Oct 2016 01:14
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 04:54

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