Subtypes of mathematical learning disability and their antecedents: A cognitive diagnostic approach

Xiangzi OUYANG, Xiao ZHANG*, Pekka RÄSÄNEN, Tuire KOPONEN, Marja Kristiina LERKKANEN

*Corresponding author for this work

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


Using cognitive diagnostic modeling (CDM), this study identified subtypes of mathematics learning disability (MLD) based on children's numerical skills and examined the language and spatial precursors of these subtypes. Participants were 99 MLD children and 420 low achievers identified from 1839 Finnish children (966 boys) who were followed from preschool (age 6) to fourth grade (2007–2011). Five subtypes were identified: the arithmetic fluency deficit only subtype, the counting deficit subtype, the pervasive deficit subtype, the symbolic deficit subtype, and the counting and concept deficit subtype. Different subtypes depended on different constellations of language and spatial deficits. Findings highlight the effectiveness of CDM in identifying MLD subtypes and underscore the importance of understanding the specific deficits and antecedents of the subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-647
Number of pages15
JournalChild Development
Issue number3
Early online date13 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by three grants from the Academy of Finland (Nos. 213486, 268586, and 292466).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Child Development © 2022 Society for Research in Child Development.


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