The contribution of family adversity and verbal IQ to criminal behavior

Chris L. Gibson, Alex R. Piquero, Stephen G. Tibbetts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Several scholars have employed the risk factor prevention paradigm in identifying risk factors and protective factors that increase and decrease the odds of offending. Farrington suggested that multiplicative interactions of such factors should be explored in an attempt to understand how they are linked to differential offending behaviors such as offending prevalence and early onset of offending. The authors examine Moffitt's interactional hypothesis that states that two specific risk factors, verbal IQ and family adversity, interact to increase the probability of particular types of criminal behavior: Using data from the Philadelphia portion of the Collaborative Perinatal Project of 987 African American youth, logistic regression analyses indicate that the combined effect of verbal IQ and family adversity did not significantly increase the odds of becoming an offender, whereas the combined effect of low verbal IQ scores at age 7 and family adversity significantly increased the odds of early onset of offending.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-592
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

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