Fostering Taiwanese preschoolers' understanding of the addition-subtraction inverse principle

Meng Lung Lai, Arthur J. Baroody, Amanda R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present research involved gauging preschoolers' learning potential for a key arithmetic concept, the addition-subtraction inverse principle (e.g., 2 + 1 - 1 = 2). Sixty 4- and 5-year-old Taiwanese children from two public preschools serving low- and middle-income families participated in the training experiment. Half were randomly assigned to an experimental group; half, to a control condition. Participants were tested for an understanding of inversion before and after intervention. One-third of the 5 year olds from both groups performed at the marginally or reliably successful levels before the intervention, and three quarters of them did so in the posttest. Only one of the 4 year olds was marginally successful before the intervention and 4 year olds in the experimental group somewhat benefited from the intervention. Significant social class effect were evident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-235
Number of pages20
JournalCognitive Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Algebraic reasoning
  • Arithmetic principles
  • Early childhood
  • Learning potential
  • Mathematical development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fostering Taiwanese preschoolers' understanding of the addition-subtraction inverse principle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this