Effects of General and Broad Cognitive Abilities on Mathematics Achievement


This study investigated the direct and indirect effects of general intelligence and 7 broad cognitive abilities on mathematics achievement. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the simultaneous effects of both general and broad cognitive abilities on students' mathematics achievement. A hierarchical model of intelligence derived from the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) taxonomy of intelligence was used for all analyses. The participants consisted of 4 age-differentiated subsamples (ranging from ages 5 to 19) from the standardization sample of the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). Data from each of the 4 age-differentiated subsamples were divided into 2 data sets. At each age level, one data set was used for model testing and modification, and a second data set was used for model validation. The following CHC broad cognitive ability factors demonstrated statistically significant direct effects on the mathematics achievement variables: Fluid Reasoning, Crystallized Intelligence, and Processing Speed. In contrast, across all age levels, the general intelligence factor demonstrated indirect effects on the mathematics achievement variable. © 2008 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

School Psychology Quarterly