De Relatie Tussen Executief Functioneren en Rekenen bij Rekenzwakke Kinderen: De Mediërende Rol van Getalbegrip
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Introduction. The percentage of children attending school in the population with arithmetic difficulties, is 7 percent. However, arithmetic skills are of great importance for general development, including school functioning. Purpose. The current research provides insight into the relationship between executive functions (inhibition, updating and shifting) and number sense among Dutch primary school children aged 6 to 10 years. In addition, it provides insight in the relation between number sense and arithmetic skills. Finally, the question is answered whether there is mediation of number sense in the relationship between executive function and arithmetic skills. Method. The data were collected through computer tasks for children with arithmetic difficulties (n= 48). These tasks covered the following two factors: executive function and number sense. Results. The analysis showed a significant, positive correlation between executive functions and number sense (rs= .77). Also, a positive, significant correlation was found between number sense and arithmetic skills (rs= .58). However, after controlling for age no significant correlations between both relations where found. Furthermore, no mediation of number sense was found in the relationship between executive functions and arithmetic skills. Conclusion. These findings show that the relationship between executive functions, number sense and arithmetic are of great importance for children with arithmetic difficulties. However, age plays an great and important role in this. When interpreting the results of this research, the use of a small sample and the ‘task impurity’ problem should be taken into account.