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NCJ Number: 94264 Find in a Library
Title: Structuralist Critique of the IQ-Delinquency Hypothesis - Theory and Evidence
Journal: American Journal of Sociology  Volume:89  Issue:6  Dated:(1984)  Pages:1347-1378
Author(s): S Menard; B J Morse
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 32
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines, both theoretically and empirically, the hypothesis that IQ is an important variable in explaining delinquent behavior among juveniles.
Abstract: From a structuralist perspective, delinquent behavior is a consequence of social institutional practices, rather than of individual characteristics. The correlation of IQ with delinquency is not because IQ exerts any causal influence on delinquent behavior but because, in certain institutional settings (the schools), it may be selected by the institution as a criterion for differential treatment. Changes in institutional practices produce a change in the relationship between IQ and delinquency. Empirically, the variables in the structuralist model developed by the Office of Youth Development explain over 20 percent of the variance in serious and nonserious delinquency. The variables used in the IQ-delinquency hypothesis, a model based on individual characteristics instead of on institutional practices, explain less than 5 percent of the variation in serious and nonserious delinquent behavior. The article concludes that the IQ-delinquency hypothesis contributes nothing to existing delinquency theory. Figures, tables, footnotes, and over 50 references are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Genetic influences on behavior; Intelligence Quotient (IQ); Juvenile delinquency factors
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