What cognitive processes contribute to superior reading and math performance?

What cognitive processes contribute to superior reading and math performance?

First Author: Kristy Dunn -- University of Alberta
Additional authors/chairs: 
George Georgiou; Jack Naglieri; J. P. Das
Keywords: Reading, Mathematics, cognitive processes, giftedness, Academic success
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: To examine what cognitive processes differentiate those who are superior in both reading and mathematics from those who are superior in either reading or mathematics.

Method: We used a portion of the standardization sample of Cognitive Assessment System 2 (CAS2; Naglieri, Das, & Goldstein, 2014) that included both CAS and achievement test scores for 1,212 children from ages 5 to 18. Based on a standard score of 130 and above in Broad Reading and Broad Mathematics from Woodcock-Johnson IV (2014), we identified 44 children with superior performance in reading, 51 children with superior performance in mathematics, and 22 children with superior performance in both reading and mathematics. These participants were also assessed with measures of Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive (PASS) neurocognitive processes from the CAS2.

Results: One-way MANOVA with the four PASS scales as dependent variables and group as a between-subjects factor revealed a significant effect of group in Planning and Simultaneous processing scores. Follow-up ANOVAs indicated that the group with superior performance in both reading and mathematics scores outperformed the other two groups in Simultaneous processing and the group with superior reading performance in Planning. No group differences were found in Successive processing or in Attention scales.

Conclusions: These results suggest that, for students with superior academic performance, Planning and Simultaneous neurocognitive scores are associated with advanced scores in reading and mathematics.