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The Association Between the Home Numeracy Environment and Early Math Skills: Math Language as a Moderator

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posted on 14.08.2019 by Yemimah King
A number of studies provide evidence that the home numeracy environment (HNE) is important for the development of early numeracy skills. There is also evidence that preschoolers understanding of math language is a strong predictor of numeracy skills. However, there is limited research on the role of math language knowledge in the relation between the HNE and early numeracy skills. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between different aspects of the HNE (direct vs. indirect numeracy activities) and numeracy skills while considering math language as a moderator. Participants included 125 children between 3.01 to 5.17 years (M = 4.09) and their parents. Parents reported on the frequency of engaging children in home numeracy activities. Children were assessed in the fall and spring of their preschool year on their numeracy skills and math language knowledge. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to test if prior math language knowledge would moderate the relation between each component of the HNE (indirect and direct numeracy activities) and later numeracy skills. Results indicate that math language was not a moderator of these relations. However, supplemental analyses suggest that math language mediates the relation between direct HNE and numeracy skills. These findings provide evidence that the relation between the direct HNE and early numeracy may be explained by preschooler’s math language knowledge.


Degree Type

Master of Science


Human Development and Family Studies

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

David Purpura

Additional Committee Member 2

Robert Duncan

Additional Committee Member 3

Sara Schmitt



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