Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School Psychology

First Adviser

Hojnoski, Robin L.

Other advisers/committee members

Shapiro, Edward S.; Caskie, Grace I. L.; Floyd, Randy G.

Abstract

Early numeracy skills are predictive of later mathematics achievement; therefore, technically adequate screening tools are needed to identify young children who may be at risk for developing mathematics difficulties. The Individual Growth and Development Indicators - Early Numeracy (myIGDI-EN) is a curriculum-based measure of four key early numeracy skills: quantity comparison fluency (QCF), oral counting fluency (OCF), one-to-one correspondence counting fluency (OOCCF), and number naming fluency (NNF). MyIGDI-EN yields scores found to be technically adequate at one point in time and sensitive to growth across the preschool year in mixed-age samples of preschool children. However, age-based developmental trajectories of numeracy skills have yet to be modeled and are needed to inform assessment schedules and expectations for growth in the context of educational decision-making. Using an accelerated longitudinal design, this study sought to evaluate the developmental progression within and between the four skills measured by myIGDI-EN. Utilizing data from 408 preschool children, linear and latent basis growth curve models were evaluated in a structural equation modeling framework. Results indicated growth was represented nonlinearly across all myIGDI-EN tasks. Each task demonstrated significant age-based sensitivity to growth over the measured developmental period with the most growth evident on OCF and OOCCF. Significant variation in initial level of performance at 45 months was evident across tasks, as was significant variation in slope for all tasks except QCF. Intercept values suggest QCF is an earlier emerging skill and NNF a later emerging skill. Results strengthen and advance what is known about patterns of early numeracy growth and the suitability of myIGDI-EN for repeated measurement across the preschool years. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

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