Title

Cognitive Functioning and Delinquency: Property versus Violent Offenses

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-1987

Abstract

This study compares means on property and violent offenses broken down by verbal IQ levels among a sample of 256 juvenile delinquents. Low IQ delinquents were present in the sample in significantly higher proportions than would be expected in comparison to population IQ norms. Within the sample, it was found that there was an inverse relationship between IQ levels and violent crime and a positive relationship between IQ levels and property crime. Low IQ apparently predisposes delinquents to impulsive and spontaneous crimes which offer instant gratification. High IQ apparently predisposes delinquents to crimes which require planning and offer deferred gratification. These findings underscore the complexity of the relationship between IQ and delinquency.