Antecedents and consequences of young children's interest in mathematics

Xiangzi OUYANG, Xiao ZHANG*, Qiusi ZHANG, Xinzhuo ZOU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


An interest in mathematics has been found to be associated with mathematics performance among primary and secondary school children, but the antecedents and consequences of younger children's interest in mathematics have been less explored. The present study examined the role of parent-child numeracy activities in predicting young children's interest in mathematics and the relation between young children's interest in mathematics and their later mathematical skills. A sample of 105 preschool children in Hong Kong were recruited and assessed at two time points: the second year of preschool and half a year later in the third year. The results showed that four types of mother-child numeracy activities – number skill, number book, number game, and number application activities –were associated with children's interest in mathematics concurrently. Among the four types, number skill activities contributed the most. However, none of the father-child numeracy activities were found to predict children's interest in mathematics. Moreover, children's interest in mathematics related to the later development of their symbolic and non-symbolic number skills after the initial levels of number skills were controlled. Our findings highlight the possible role of mother-child numeracy activities in fostering young children's interest in mathematics and the contribution of this interest to later number skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Early online date25 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Social Science Fund of China (No. BBA170071).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • home numeracy activities
  • interest in mathematics
  • non-symbolic number skills
  • preschoolers
  • symbolic number skills


Dive into the research topics of 'Antecedents and consequences of young children's interest in mathematics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this