What is it about?

This article examines the association between intelligence and rearrest among a sample of justice-involved youth. The results indicate that youth with lower IQ scores were slightly more likely than youth with higher IQ scores to be arrested. The size of the effect of IQ on rearrest was so small, however, that the results do not provide evidence that IQ is a meaningful risk factor for rearrest.

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Why is it important?

Previous research has found evidence of IQ as a risk factor on behavioral problems, wherein those with lower IQ scores are more likely to have behavioral problems. These studies did not adequately consider individual and contextual factors when examining this association. After we take these factors into account, the association is far less robust.


We hope that this article will spark future research in this area, as it is relatively understudied and much of the existing research is somewhat dated. We hope our findings are not viewed as a mechanism to dismiss the role of IQ as a predictor of behavior, but rather, motivates future research to better understand the ways in which IQ may impact the differences in behavior across stages of the life-course.

Joseph Schwartz
University of Nebraska System

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A longitudinal examination of the association between intelligence and rearrest using a latent trait–state–occasion modeling approach in a sample of previously adjudicated youth., Developmental Psychology, October 2019, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/dev0000838.
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