Parents’ perfectionistic tendencies and children’s early numeracy competence: The mediating roles of children’s executive functions and numeracy interest

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Abstract

Parents’ high academic expectations have often been found to benefit children’s academic outcomes. Nonetheless, little is known whether different ways of expressing the high expectations exert similar influences on early numeracy development. This study therefore investigated the relations of two forms of parents’ perfectionistic tendencies—namely perfectionistic strivings and concerns—with children’s early numeracy competence, as well as the potential mediating roles of children’s executive functions and numeracy interest in such relations. One hundred one kindergarteners were assessed for their numeracy skills and executive functions, whereas their parents completed a questionnaire about their perfectionistic tendencies as well as their children’s numeracy interest. Results showed that both forms of perfectionistic tendencies were associated with children’s numeracy competence via their executive functions and numeracy interest. Only perfectionistic concerns had a direct link with children’s numeracy competence. Our findings imply that parents need to be careful about the ways they convey their academic expectations to young children. Copyright © 2022 Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1200
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Volume38
Issue number3
Early online dateOct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Citation

Cheung, S. K., Chan, W. W. L., & Fong, R. W.‑T. (2023). Parents’ perfectionistic tendencies and children’s early numeracy competence: The mediating roles of children’s executive functions and numeracy interest. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 38(3), 1185-1200. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-022-00640-x

Keywords

  • Perfectionistic tendencies
  • Early numeracy competence
  • Executive functions
  • Numeracy interest
  • Parents
  • Young children

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