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Publication Detail
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Allen JL
  • Publisher:
    Wiley Blackwell
  • Publication date:
  • Editors:
    Schreck CJ,Leiber MJ,Ventura Miller H,Welch K
  • Book title:
    The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice
  • Keywords:
    intelligence, IQ, crime, antisocial behaviour, delinquency
  • Notes:
    Available at: www.encyclopediaofjuveniledelinquency.com
There is consistent evidence for an inverse association between intelligence and antisocial behaviour. This link is evident for delinquency (official and self-reported) and clinical diagnoses of conduct disorder, but not for recidivism or illegal drug use. The IQ-crime/delinquency relationship is the strongest with regard to verbal ability, with delinquents possessing similar nonverbal ability to their non-delinquent peers. The association does not appear to be due to socioeconomic status, ethnicity, test-taking motivation or to the differential detection of less intelligent offenders. However, clearly, intelligent people are capable of antisocial behaviour and the vast majority of individuals with low IQs are not criminals. The pathways to criminality are many and varied, with low intelligence one of many possible contributing factors. Research has now shifted from establishing an association between intelligence and antisocial behaviour to examining theoretical explanations of how and why these two constructs are linked.
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