Sex differences in the performance of 7-12 Year olds on a mental rotation task and the relation with arithmetic performance

Marleen van Tetering, Marthe van der Donk, Renate Helena Maria de Groot, Jelle Jolles

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study evaluates boy-girl differences in 3D mental rotation in schoolchildren aged 7-12 years and the relation to arithmetic performance. A dedicated new task was developed: The Mental Rotation Task - Children (MRT-C). This task was applied to a large sample of 729 children. At the age of 7- to 9-years, a sex difference was found in the number of correct judgments made on the MRT-C. Boys performed better than girls. A closer look at the distribution of boys and girls in this age group showed that boys were overrepresented in the top performance quartile, whereas girls were overrepresented in the lowest performance quartile. A second finding was that higher mental rotation performance was significantly correlated to better mathematical achievement. This finding was done for boys, but not for girls. This correlation underscores the important role that spatial processing plays in mathematical achievement and has implications for school practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
Issue numberJANUARY
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Sex Characteristics
Age Groups

Keywords

  • 3D mental rotation
  • Childhood
  • Early adolescence
  • Mathematics
  • STEM

Cite this

van Tetering, Marleen ; van der Donk, Marthe ; de Groot, Renate Helena Maria ; Jolles, Jelle. / Sex differences in the performance of 7-12 Year olds on a mental rotation task and the relation with arithmetic performance. In: Frontiers in Psychology. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. JANUARY. pp. 1-11.
@article{62b5df968f9c419f97cd8607c94080d4,
title = "Sex differences in the performance of 7-12 Year olds on a mental rotation task and the relation with arithmetic performance",
abstract = "This study evaluates boy-girl differences in 3D mental rotation in schoolchildren aged 7-12 years and the relation to arithmetic performance. A dedicated new task was developed: The Mental Rotation Task - Children (MRT-C). This task was applied to a large sample of 729 children. At the age of 7- to 9-years, a sex difference was found in the number of correct judgments made on the MRT-C. Boys performed better than girls. A closer look at the distribution of boys and girls in this age group showed that boys were overrepresented in the top performance quartile, whereas girls were overrepresented in the lowest performance quartile. A second finding was that higher mental rotation performance was significantly correlated to better mathematical achievement. This finding was done for boys, but not for girls. This correlation underscores the important role that spatial processing plays in mathematical achievement and has implications for school practice.",
keywords = "3D mental rotation, Childhood, Early adolescence, Mathematics, STEM",
author = "{van Tetering}, Marleen and {van der Donk}, Marthe and {de Groot}, {Renate Helena Maria} and Jelle Jolles",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "30",
doi = "10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00107",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "Frontiers in Psychology",
issn = "1664-1078",
publisher = "Frontiers Media",
number = "JANUARY",

}

Sex differences in the performance of 7-12 Year olds on a mental rotation task and the relation with arithmetic performance. / van Tetering, Marleen; van der Donk, Marthe; de Groot, Renate Helena Maria; Jolles, Jelle.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 10, No. JANUARY, 107, 30.01.2019, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sex differences in the performance of 7-12 Year olds on a mental rotation task and the relation with arithmetic performance

AU - van Tetering, Marleen

AU - van der Donk, Marthe

AU - de Groot, Renate Helena Maria

AU - Jolles, Jelle

PY - 2019/1/30

Y1 - 2019/1/30

N2 - This study evaluates boy-girl differences in 3D mental rotation in schoolchildren aged 7-12 years and the relation to arithmetic performance. A dedicated new task was developed: The Mental Rotation Task - Children (MRT-C). This task was applied to a large sample of 729 children. At the age of 7- to 9-years, a sex difference was found in the number of correct judgments made on the MRT-C. Boys performed better than girls. A closer look at the distribution of boys and girls in this age group showed that boys were overrepresented in the top performance quartile, whereas girls were overrepresented in the lowest performance quartile. A second finding was that higher mental rotation performance was significantly correlated to better mathematical achievement. This finding was done for boys, but not for girls. This correlation underscores the important role that spatial processing plays in mathematical achievement and has implications for school practice.

AB - This study evaluates boy-girl differences in 3D mental rotation in schoolchildren aged 7-12 years and the relation to arithmetic performance. A dedicated new task was developed: The Mental Rotation Task - Children (MRT-C). This task was applied to a large sample of 729 children. At the age of 7- to 9-years, a sex difference was found in the number of correct judgments made on the MRT-C. Boys performed better than girls. A closer look at the distribution of boys and girls in this age group showed that boys were overrepresented in the top performance quartile, whereas girls were overrepresented in the lowest performance quartile. A second finding was that higher mental rotation performance was significantly correlated to better mathematical achievement. This finding was done for boys, but not for girls. This correlation underscores the important role that spatial processing plays in mathematical achievement and has implications for school practice.

KW - 3D mental rotation

KW - Childhood

KW - Early adolescence

KW - Mathematics

KW - STEM

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85061050780&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85061050780&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00107

DO - 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00107

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 1

EP - 11

JO - Frontiers in Psychology

JF - Frontiers in Psychology

SN - 1664-1078

IS - JANUARY

M1 - 107

ER -