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The role of verbal intelligence in becoming a successful criminal: Results from a longitudinal sample

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  • Boccio, Cashen M.
  • Beaver, Kevin M.
  • Schwartz, Joseph A.

Abstract

Intelligence has been linked with success across a wide array of life domains. To date, however, relatively little research has examined whether intelligence may predict criminal success—that is, engaging in criminal behaviors, but escaping detection and arrest. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by examining the associations among verbal intelligence, criminal involvement, and criminal justice processing (i.e., arrest) using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Our findings reveal that verbal intelligence is associated with criminal justice processing, wherein individuals with higher verbal intelligence scores are more likely to avoid arrest for criminal behavior when compared with individuals with comparatively lower verbal intelligence scores. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Boccio, Cashen M. & Beaver, Kevin M. & Schwartz, Joseph A., 2018. "The role of verbal intelligence in becoming a successful criminal: Results from a longitudinal sample," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 24-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intell:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:24-31
    DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2017.10.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lussier, Patrick & Bouchard, Martin & Beauregard, Eric, 2011. "Patterns of criminal achievement in sexual offending: Unravelling the “successful” sex offender," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 433-444.
    2. Roberts, Aki, 2008. "The influences of incident and contextual characteristics on crime clearance of nonlethal violence: A multilevel event history analysis," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 61-71, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silver, Ian A. & Nedelec, Joseph L., 2018. "Cognitive abilities and antisocial behavior in prison: A longitudinal assessment using a large state-wide sample of prisoners," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 17-31.

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