Tellegen, 1988; Rutter, 1987). Although there have been different ways ofdefining protective and compensatory factors, for the current study, protectivefactors are considered main effects and compensatory factors are consideredinteraction effects.Empirical research in this area has indicated that cognitive factors andpersonal attributes of the child constitute a major class of factors that protectagainst high-risk conditions (e.g., Garmezy, 1985; Luthar, 1991; Rutter, 1970;White, Moffitt, & Silva, 1989). Among the personal attributes investigated withinthe vulnerability protection perspective, intelligence (IQ) and motivation havebeen widely studied. Intellectual ability has been found to be a strong correlate ofschool-based competence among high-risk children and adolescents, showingassociations with academic achievement as well as with positive ratings by peersand teachers (see Garmezy et al., 1984; Luthar, 1991; Masten et al., 1988).Previous theories on the role of IQ in adjustment typically predict unidirectionaleffects, with cognitive deficits leading to adjustment difficulties either directly orthrough mediating variables (Cornell & Wilson, 1992; Lahey, Loeber, Burke, &159IQ AND MOTIVATION TO CHANGEThis 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.
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 thedeclines in functioning demonstrated by their less intelligent peers.Several other studies have examined the protective nature of intelligence withoffenders and delinquent youth. Results from these studies are somewhat mixedbut 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 antisocialbehaviors. In the Kandel et al. investigation, men who did not evidence criminalbehaviors despite being at high risk (i.e., having severely criminal fathers) had asignificantly 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 delinquencyin a prospective design; they did not find significant interaction effects but diddescribe IQ as protective because of main effects. These authors suggested thatvery high IQ may help boys at varying levels of risk stay free from delinquencyaltogether. In another study, Lynam, Moffitt, and Stouthamer-Loeber (1993)tested differing explanatory accounts of the relation between IQ and delinquencyand concluded that the direction of causal effect runs from low IQ to delinquency.