Heterogeneity in children at risk of math learning difficulties

David MUÑEZ, Rebecca BULL, Kerry LEE, Carola RUIZ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This study recruited 428 Singaporean children at risk of math learning difficulties (MLD; Mage = 83.9 months, SDage = 4.35 months; 41% female). Using a factor mixture model that considered both quantitative and qualitative differences in math ability, two qualitatively different groups were identified: one with generalized difficulties across different math skills and the other with more focal difficulties in arithmetic fluency. Reading, working memory capacity, and numeracy (number line estimation skills and numerical discrimination) uniquely explained group membership. Children within each group differed in the extent of difficulties they exhibited, with numeracy variables differentially contributing to math ability in each group. Findings speak against a dimensional view of MLD and underscore the conceptual limitations of using basic numeracy performance to profile learning difficulties. Copyright © 2023 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1048
JournalChild Development
Issue number4
Early online dateMar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


Muñez, D., Bull, R., Lee, K., & Ruiz, C. (2023). Heterogeneity in children at risk of math learning difficulties. Child Development, 94(4), 1033-1048. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13918


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity in children at risk of math learning difficulties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.