Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Geraldine Lotze

Second Advisor

Michelle Ellefson


The learning of mathematics can be a difficult process for many students. Understanding the cognitive components that contribute to arithmetic achievement may illuminate sources of difficulty and inform the development of better teaching and learning practices. Executive functions (EFs) have been implicated in the development of arithmetic skills in early childhood, but less is known about this relation across middle childhood and beyond. The current study included individuals ages 6-7, 9-10, 12-13, and 18+ years and examined the contributions of 3 components of EF, working memory (WM), inhibition, and set shifting (SS), to arithmetic skills in two domains. It was hypothesized that age, general cognitive ability, and EFs would have unique and combined influences on both domains of arithmetic: proficiency and fluency. Results from correlation, regression, and path analyses indicated that WM, inhibition, and SS differentially contributed to arithmetic proficiency and fluency. The implications for education and intervention are discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010

Included in

Psychology Commons