ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (5): 696-710.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00696

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Role of executive function in mathematical ability of children in different grades

ZHU Xiaoliang1,2, ZHAO Xin1,2()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Behavioral and Mental Health of Gansu Province
    2School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Published:2023-05-25 Online:2023-02-14
  • Contact: ZHAO Xin


A total of 812 children in Grades 3-6 were selected to examine the role of each executive function component in the three mathematical abilities at different grades using correlation analysis and structural equation modelling. The results showed that in the junior grades, working memory span was the most important predictor of mathematical operations, spatial imagination and logical thinking. In the older students, working memory span decreased in predicting the three mathematical abilities, while working memory updating and cognitive flexibility increased in predicting the mathematical abilities. This suggests that there are differences in the predictive effects of the executive function components on different mathematical abilities, and that they change as children progress through the grades.

Key words: executive function, mathematical abilities, primary school students, structural equation modeling