The present longitudinal study sought to investigate the impact of poor phonology on children’s mathematical status. From a screening sample of 256 five-year-olds, 82 children were identified as either typically achieving (TA; N = 31), having comorbid
poor phonology and mathematical difficulties (PDMD; N =31), or having only poor phonology (phonological difficulty, PD; N = 20). Children were assessed on eight components of informal and formal mathematics achievement at ages 5–7 years.
PD children were found to have significant impairments in some, mainly formal, components of mathematics by age 7 compared to TA children. Analysis also revealed that, by age 7, approximately half of the PD children met the criteria for PDMD, while
the remainder exhibited less severe deficits in some components of formal mathematics. Children’s mathematical performance at age 5, however, did not predict which PD children were more likely to become PDMD at age 7, nor did they differ in terms of phonological awareness at age 5. However, those PD children who later became PDMD had lower scores on verbal and non-verbal tests of general ability.