Elaboration on the association between IQ and parental SES with subsequent crime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine competing theoretical propositions and research, the hypotheses were tested that low parental socioeconomic status (SES), low IQ and their interaction increase the likelihood of crime. To test these hypotheses, representative US data (n= 11,437) were examined based on SES and IQ in 1981, and subsequent incarcerations from 1982 to 2006. Incarceration outcomes predicted included: incidence with binary logistic modeling, time to incarceration with Cox modeling and incarceration frequency with Poisson modeling. Results showed that low IQ, low SES and their interaction modestly predicted these three incarceration outcomes. These results were replicated among males, underprivileged groups and people with a last interview. Given that low IQ and SES are generally associated with increased risk of subsequent crime their theoretical integration is appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1237
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bell Curve
  • Criminal careers
  • Intelligence
  • National Longitudinal Study of Youth
  • SES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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