There is a growing literature concerning the role of the home math environment in children's math development. In this study, we examined the relation between these constructs by specifically addressing three goals. The first goal was to identify the measurement structure of the home math environment through a series of confirmatory factor analyses. The second goal was to examine the role of the home math environment in predicting parent report of children's math skills. The third goal was to test a series of potential alternative explanations for the relation between the home math environment and parent report of children's skills, specifically the direct and indirect role of household income, parent math anxiety, and parent math ability as measured by their approximate number system performance. A final sample of 339 parents of children aged 3 through 8 drawn from Mechanical Turk answered a questionnaire online. The best fitting model of the home math environment was a bifactor model with a general factor representing the general home math environment, and three specific factors representing the direct numeracy environment, the indirect numeracy environment, and the spatial environment. When examining the association of the home math environment factors to parent report of child skills, the general home math environment factor and the spatial environment were the only significant predictors. Parents who reported doing more general math activities in the home reported having children with higher math skills, whereas parents who reported doing more spatial activities reported having children with lower math skills. © 2016 Hart et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date of this Version
Hart, S.A., Ganley, C.M., Purpura, D.J. Understanding the home math environment and its role in predicting parent report of children's math skills. PLoS ONE Volume 11, Issue 12, December 2016, Article number e0168227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0168227