Math Learning Disorder: Incidence in a Population-Based Birth Cohort, 1976–82, Rochester, Minn

Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Ambulatory Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 2.49). 09/2005; 5(5):281-9. DOI: 10.1367/A04-209R.1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To report the incidence of math learning disorder (Math LD) among school-aged children, overall and by gender. To compare incidence estimates obtained by using three different methods to identify Math LD cases. To assess the extent to which children manifest Math LD alone, versus Math LD with comorbid reading disorder.
This is a population-based, retrospective, birth cohort study. Subjects included all children born 1976-82 who remained in Rochester, Minn after age 5 (N = 5718). Using records from all public and private schools, medical facilities, and private tutorial services, all individually administered intelligence quotient and achievement tests and extensive medical, educational, and socioeconomic information were abstracted. Math LD was established using research criteria based on 3 formulas (regression-based discrepancy, nonregression-based discrepancy, low achievement).
Cumulative incidence rates of Math LD by age 19 years varied from 5.9% to 13.8% according to the formula used. Boys were more likely to be affected than girls, with relative risk ratios from 1.6 to 2.2 depending on the formula applied. Many children with Math LD (35% to 56.7%, depending on the formula used to define Math LD) did not have a comorbid reading disorder.
These results, from a community-based birth cohort, suggest that Math LD is common among schoolchildren, and is significantly more frequent among boys than girls, regardless of definition. Many children with Math LD do not have an associated reading disorder.

12 Reads
    • "De plus, la dyscalculie est très fréquemment associée a ` la dyslexie, par ex., de 17 % (Gross-Tsur et al., 1996) a ` 43,3 voire 65 % (Barbaresi et al., 2005) des enfants dyscalculiques, selon les critères diagnostiques utilisés), et au trouble de déficit de l'attention/hyperactivité (26 % des enfants dyscalculiques; Gross- Tsur et al., 1996). Selon Barbaresi et al. (2005), la dyscalculie affecte plus souvent les garçons que les filles (2 garçons pour 1 fille); d'autres études (Lewis et al., 1994; Gross-Tsur et al., 1996; Badian, 1999) suggèrent plutôt que la dyscalculie est équitablement répartie entre les sexes. Les troubles dyscalculiques persistent jusqu'a ` l'âge adulte. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: La dyscalculie est définie comme un trouble du développement mathématique qui nuit aux activités scolaires et quotidiennes. Les difficultés qui en découlent sont diverses, notamment pour les activités de comptage, de dénombrement, de calcul et de la résolution de problèmes. Différentes hypothèses cognitives ont été proposées pour expliquer les processus touchés et l’origine fonctionnelle de la dyscalculie. L’hypothèse du déficit du sens du nombre suggère que la dyscalculie résulte d’un déficit du traitement des représentations non symboliques du nombre et d’une altération des représentations numériques mentales, impliquant, entre autres choses, des difficultés a` comparer, a` reconnaître et a` estimer des quantités, et des difficultés a` placer des nombres sur une ligne numérique. Cependant, l’hypothèse du déficit d’accès au sens du nombre suggère que la dyscalculie est caractérisée par la présence de difficultés a` accéder au sens des quantités a` partir des nombres arabes: les enfants dyscalculiques ont des performances équivalentes a` leurs pairs de groupes contrôles pour traiter des nombres non symboliques, mais des difficultés de traitement des nombres arabes. Dans cette revue de la littérature, nous présentons brièvement des travaux qui concernent ces deux hypothèses explicatives, pour ensuite en faire une critique.
    Canadian Psychologist Psychologie Canadienne 02/2015; 56(1):96-107. DOI:10.1037/a0037264
  • Source
    • "First, some prevalence studies defined DD using an IQ-achievement discrepancy (e.g., Barahmand, 2008; Barbaresi, Katusic, Colligan, Weaver, & Jacobsen, 2005; Lewis, Hitch, & Walker, 1994; Mazzocco & Myers, 2003), that is, mathematics performance that is substantially below what would be expected given general intelligence. Similarly, Barbaresi et al. (2005) estimated the prevalence of DD using a regression-based discrepancy definition, in which maths performance scores were predicted by a sum of a constant (i.e. a 'discrepancy' value) and weighted sum of the IQ score (Barbaresi et al., 2005). Second, others defined DD by the severity of the mathematics impairment using performance cutoffs on standardized tests; the range of cutoffs used in the prevalence studies are represented in Fig. 1. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Developmental dyscalculia (DD) is a learning difficulty specific to mathematics learning. The prevalence of DD may be equivalent to that of dyslexia, posing an important challenge for effective educational provision. Nevertheless, there is no agreed definition of DD and there are controversies surrounding cutoff decisions, specificity and gender differences. In the current study, 1004 British primary school children completed mathematics and reading assessments. The prevalence of DD and gender ratio were estimated in this sample using different criteria. When using absolute thresholds, the prevalence of DD was the same for both genders regardless of the cutoff criteria applied, however gender differences emerged when using a mathematics-reading discrepancy definition. Correlations between mathematics performance and the control measures selected to identify a specific learning difficulty affect both prevalence estimates and whether a gender difference is in fact identified. Educational implications are discussed.
    Learning and Instruction 10/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2013.02.004 · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "These cutoffs are based on studies of school age children and adolescents who have difficulties learning mathematics. Students with MLD include as many as 7% of children and adolescents (ranging from 4 to 14% depending on classification methods), and consistently (across grades) score at or below the 10th-percentile on mathematics achievement tests (Lewis et al., 1994; Barbaresi et al., 2005; Shalev et al., 2005). An additional 10% or so of children are persistently low achieving (LA) and score between the 11th and 25th percentiles in mathematics across grades, despite average intelligence and reading ability (for reviews, see Dowker, 2005a; Berch and Mazzocco, 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study tested the hypothesis that acuity of the potentially inherent approximate number system (ANS) contributes to risk of mathematical learning disability (MLD). Sixty-eight (35 boys) preschoolers at risk for school failure were assessed on a battery of quantitative tasks, and on intelligence, executive control, preliteracy skills, and parental education. Mathematics achievement scores at the end of 1 year of preschool indicated that 34 of these children were at high risk for MLD. Relative to the 34 typically achieving children, the at risk children were less accurate on the ANS task, and a one standard deviation deficit on this task resulted in a 2.4-fold increase in the odds of MLD status. The at risk children also had a poor understanding of ordinal relations, and had slower learning of Arabic numerals, number words, and their cardinal values. Poor performance on these tasks resulted in 3.6- to 4.5-fold increases in the odds of MLD status. The results provide some support for the ANS hypothesis but also suggest these deficits are not the primary source of poor mathematics learning.
    Frontiers in Psychology 05/2013; 4:195. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00195 · 2.80 Impact Factor
Show more


12 Reads
Available from