Math Weaknesses in Survivors of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Compared to Healthy Children

Kris L. Kaemingk, Marissa E. Carey, Ida M. Moore, Michele Herzer, John J. Hutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Difficulties in math are the most frequently reported area of academic deficit in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and the most frequent academic complaint among parents of ALL survivors. However, previous studies that included measures of math skills have been limited by the use of only a single measure of math skills, most often a measure of written calculations, without any assessment of math reasoning or math application skills. Further, the nature of these math difficulties has not been adequately investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine the performance of ALL survivors using multiple measures of math skills. Performance was compared to a group of healthy controls matched for age and sex as well as to normative levels. Other measures of neuropsychological function were also administered, and the relationships between these measures and the math measures were explored. Converging evidence for math difficulties in ALL survivors compared to healthy controls and normative levels was found. While ALL survivors generally performed within the average range on measures of math skills, math performance was mostly related to memory function and dominant-hand psychomotor speed. By contrast, math performance of healthy children was mostly related to basic reading skills and visual-motor integration. These findings shed light on the nature of math difficulties in ALL survivors and have implications for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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