Although there have been different ways of defining protective and compensatory

Although there have been different ways of defining

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Tellegen, 1988; Rutter, 1987). Although there have been different ways of defining protective and compensatory factors, for the current study, protective factors are considered main effects and compensatory factors are considered interaction effects. Empirical research in this area has indicated that cognitive factors and personal attributes of the child constitute a major class of factors that protect against high-risk conditions (e.g., Garmezy, 1985; Luthar, 1991; Rutter, 1970; White, Moffitt, & Silva, 1989). Among the personal attributes investigated within the vulnerability protection perspective, intelligence (IQ) and motivation have been widely studied. Intellectual ability has been found to be a strong correlate of school-based competence among high-risk children and adolescents, showing associations with academic achievement as well as with positive ratings by peers and teachers (see Garmezy et al., 1984; Luthar, 1991; Masten et al., 1988). Previous theories on the role of IQ in adjustment typically predict unidirectional effects, with cognitive deficits leading to adjustment difficulties either directly or through mediating variables (Cornell & Wilson, 1992; Lahey, Loeber, Burke, & 159 IQ AND MOTIVATION TO CHANGE This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
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Rathouz, 2002; Moffitt & Henry, 1989; White et al., 1989). Masten et al. (1988) found that with increases in life stress, intelligent children did not show the declines in functioning demonstrated by their less intelligent peers. Several other studies have examined the protective nature of intelligence with offenders and delinquent youth. Results from these studies are somewhat mixed but generally show that IQ is protective of offending. For instance, Kandel et al. (1988) showed IQ to be a protective for men who were at high risk for antisocial behaviors. In the Kandel et al. investigation, men who did not evidence criminal behaviors despite being at high risk (i.e., having severely criminal fathers) had a significantly higher IQ than did men in the three other groups defined by high- versus low-risk status and presence versus absence of serious criminal acts. White et al. (1989) tested the potential protective effects of IQ on delinquency in a prospective design; they did not find significant interaction effects but did describe IQ as protective because of main effects. These authors suggested that very high IQ may help boys at varying levels of risk stay free from delinquency altogether. In another study, Lynam, Moffitt, and Stouthamer-Loeber (1993) tested differing explanatory accounts of the relation between IQ and delinquency and concluded that the direction of causal effect runs from low IQ to delinquency.
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