Cognitive Functions Mediate the Effect of Preterm Birth on Mathematics Skills in Young Children
Children born preterm are at risk for cognitive deficits and lower academic achievement. Notably, mathematics achievement is generally most affected. Here, we investigated the cognitive functions mediating early mathematics skills and how these are impacted by preterm birth. Healthy children born preterm (gestational age at birth < 33 weeks; n = 51) and children born full term (n = 27) were tested at ages 5, 6, and 7 years with a comprehensive battery of tests. We categorized items of the TEMA-3: Test for Early Mathematics Abilities Third Edition into number skills and arithmetic skills. Using multiple mediation models, we assessed how the effect of preterm birth on mathematics skills is mediated spatial working memory, inhibitory control, visual-motor integration, and phonological processing. Both number and arithmetic skills showed group differences, but with different developmental trajectories. The initial poorer performance observed in the preterm children decreased over time for number skills but increased for arithmetic skills. Phonological processing, visual-motor integration, and inhibitory control were poorer in children born preterm. These cognitive functions, particularly phonological processing, had a mediating effect on both types of mathematics skills. These findings help define and chart the trajectory of the specific cognitive skills directly influencing math deficit phenotypes in children born very preterm. This knowledge provides guidance for targeted evaluation and treatment implementation. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 379 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 89,089
- In developmental biology: 2,364
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 73,945
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 41,167
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!