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Examining gender-based associations of parental number talk in the home

Rastogi, Nandini (2024) Examining gender-based associations of parental number talk in the home. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Parents’ math engagement in the home is important for their children’s math skill development prior to school entry (Daucourt et al., 2021). Both the frequency and type of parental number talk (discussions of number concepts) is related to children’s math performance (Levine et al., 2010; Gunderson & Levine, 2011). However, previous research exploring numeracy engagement in the home focused primarily on mothers of young children, and particularly those with preschool- and school-aged children. This project aimed to investigate the joint and unique influences of mothers and fathers on their toddlers’ number knowledge, by comparing the frequency and type of number talk mothers and fathers use with their toddlers during semi-structured interactions, and how these may predict children’s number skills. In a sample of 133 children aged 2-3 years (M=30.8 months, SD=3.36 months, 52% female) and their mothers and fathers, we found that mothers and fathers of two- to three-year-olds used relatively similar proportions of number talk, t(132) = 1.92, p = 0.057, with mothers tending to use slightly more number talk. Additionally, both mothers and fathers most frequently used quantifiers, labeling, and counting when talking about numerical concepts, and unexpectedly, neither parents’ frequency of number talk significantly predicted children’s numeracy scores (assessed as performance in Point-to-X and Give-N tasks). Exploratory analyses suggested that fathers’ use of labeling set sizes significantly predicted toddlers’ number skills (r = .22, p = .011), and more work is needed to understand how this may contribute to children’s number knowledge over time. Overall, this study presents novel findings in how mothers and fathers compare in their frequency and categorical use of number talk with their toddlers.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rastogi, Nandininar114@pitt.edunar1140009-0001-6990-1523
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorLibertus, Melissa
Committee MemberLeyva,
Committee MemberDuong,
Committee MemberPurpura, David
Date: 22 April 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 April 2024
Approval Date: 22 April 2024
Submission Date: 15 April 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 45
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive development, toddlers, early math skills, home learning environment, number talk
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2024 15:31
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 15:31


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