Criminology | Section 4.3

Fundamentals of Criminology

Adam J. McKee, Ph.D.

Scott D. Bransford, Ph.D.


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Intelligence and Crime

Childhood intelligence does not predict adolescent delinquency very well.  Parental discipline, family cohesion, religious upbringing, and children’s exposure to delinquent peers all have stronger effects

Nevertheless, researchers have consistently noted a weak to moderate negative correlation between IQ and delinquent behavior –even when class, race, and other factors are controlled for.  The higher the IQ score, the lower the probability that the adolescent will commit delinquent acts.

The problem is that we have not decided for sure whether IQ tests measure what they are supposed to—intelligence, which is different from knowledge, which is learned.

Modification History

File Created:  08/04/2018

Last Modified:  08/05/2018

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This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

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