If your child thinks they are good at maths, then they probably will be - that's the conclusion of a major international study looking at data from more than 15,000 British and American schoolchildren.

So having an early positive impression of their own abilities compared to their peers (and this is from age 8 so in Years 3 and 4) that is reinforced at school and in the home can be an accurate predictor of their actual abilities in later life.

The study published in the journal Child Development has some major implications for teachers, parents and caregivers.

We speak to lead author Professor Pamela Davis-Kean from the University of Michigan, about how and why she conducted the research, and what it means.

Listen to the interview at RNZ.