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Mathematical (dis)abilities within the opportunity-propensity model : the choice of math test matters

Elke Baten (UGent) and Annemie Desoete (UGent)
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Abstract
This study examined individual differences in mathematics learning by combining antecedent (A), opportunity (O), and propensity (P) indicators within the Opportunity-Propensity model. Although there is already some evidence for this model based on secondary datasets, there currently is no primary data available that simultaneously takes into account A,O and P factors in children with and without Mathematical Learning Disabilities (MLD). Therefore the mathematical abilities of 114 school-aged children (grade 3 till 6) with and without MLD were analyzed and combined with information retrieved from standardized tests and questionnaires. Results indicated significant differences in personality, motivation, temperament, subjective well-being, self-esteem, self-perceived competence and parental aspirations when comparing children with and without MLD. In addition, A, O and P factors were found to underlie mathematical abilities and disabilities. For the A factors, parental aspirations explained about half of the variance in fact retrieval speed in children without MLD, and SES was especially involved in the prediction of procedural accuracy in general. Teachers’ experience contributed as O factor and explained about 6% of the variance in mathematical abilities. P indicators explained between 52 and 69% of the variance, with especially intelligence as overall significant predictor. Indirect effects pointed towards the interrelatedness of the predictors and the value of including A, O and P indicators in a comprehensive model. The role parental aspirations played in fact retrieval speed was partially mediated through the self-perceived competence of the children, whereas the effect of SES on procedural accuracy was partially mediated through intelligence in children of both groups and through working memory capacity in children with MLD. Moreover, in line with the componential structure of mathematics, our findings were dependent on the math task used. Different A, O and P indicators seemed to be important for fact retrieval speed compared to procedural accuracy. Also, mathematical development type (MLD or typical development) mattered since some A, O and P factors were predictive for MLD only and the other way around. Practical implications of these findings and recommendations for future research on MLD and on individual differences in mathematical abilities are provided.
Keywords
Opportunity-Propensity model, mathematical learning disabilities, temperament, personality, motivation, subjective well-being, self-esteem, self-perceived competence

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Baten, Elke, and Annemie Desoete. 2018. “Mathematical (dis)abilities Within the Opportunity-propensity Model : the Choice of Math Test Matters.” Frontiers in Psychology 9.
APA
Baten, E., & Desoete, A. (2018). Mathematical (dis)abilities within the opportunity-propensity model : the choice of math test matters. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 9.
Vancouver
1.
Baten E, Desoete A. Mathematical (dis)abilities within the opportunity-propensity model : the choice of math test matters. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. 2018;9.
MLA
Baten, Elke, and Annemie Desoete. “Mathematical (dis)abilities Within the Opportunity-propensity Model : the Choice of Math Test Matters.” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 9 (2018): n. pag. Print.
@article{8559550,
  abstract     = {This study examined individual differences in mathematics learning by combining antecedent (A), opportunity (O), and propensity (P) indicators within the Opportunity-Propensity model. Although there is already some evidence for this model based on secondary datasets, there currently is no primary data available that simultaneously takes into account A,O and P factors in children with and without Mathematical Learning Disabilities (MLD). Therefore the mathematical abilities of 114 school-aged children (grade 3 till 6) with and without MLD were analyzed and combined with information retrieved from standardized tests and questionnaires. Results indicated significant differences in personality, motivation, temperament, subjective well-being, self-esteem, self-perceived competence and parental aspirations when comparing children with and without MLD. In addition, A, O and P factors were found to underlie mathematical abilities and disabilities. For the A factors, parental aspirations explained about half of the variance in fact retrieval speed in children without MLD, and SES was especially involved in the prediction of procedural accuracy in general. Teachers{\textquoteright} experience contributed as O factor and explained about 6\% of the variance in mathematical abilities. P indicators explained between 52 and 69\% of the variance, with especially intelligence as overall significant predictor. Indirect effects pointed towards the interrelatedness of the predictors and the value of including A, O and P indicators in a comprehensive model. The role parental aspirations played in fact retrieval speed was partially mediated through the self-perceived competence of the children, whereas the effect of SES on procedural accuracy was partially mediated through intelligence in children of both groups and through working memory capacity in children with MLD. Moreover, in line with the componential structure of mathematics, our findings were dependent on the math task used. Different A, O and P indicators seemed to be important for fact retrieval speed compared to procedural accuracy. Also, mathematical development type (MLD or typical development) mattered since some A, O and P factors were predictive for MLD only and the other way around. Practical implications of these findings and recommendations for future research on MLD and on individual differences in mathematical abilities are provided. },
  articleno    = {667},
  author       = {Baten, Elke and Desoete, Annemie},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  journal      = {FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY},
  keyword      = {Opportunity-Propensity model,mathematical learning disabilities,temperament,personality,motivation,subjective well-being,self-esteem,self-perceived competence},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Mathematical (dis)abilities within the opportunity-propensity model : the choice of math test matters},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00667},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2018},
}

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