Delinquency and Impulsivity and IQ: A Reply to Block (1995)
Although J. Block's critique (J. Block, 1995) of the D. Lynam, T. Moffitt, and M. Stouthamer-Loeber report (D. Lynam, T. Moffitt, and M. Stouthamer-Loeber, 1993) contains several interesting points, many of his criticisms are not valid and resulted from miscommunications, misunderstandings, and simple preferences. Specifically, the authors believe the criticisms to be the results of mistaking a single hypothesis for an organizing principle, a misunderstanding of the reported path analyses, and a simple preference for impulsivity over IQ as an explanatory construct. An attempt is made to address the misinterpretation through clarification of the predicted relations between IQ, executive dysfunction, impulsivity, and delinquency. The original path analyses are reviewed and are shown to refute not only the original self-control hypothesis (Lynam et al., 1993), as reported, but also Block's more recent version. Finally, evidence marshalled by Block to support his emphasis on impulsive personality over low IQ is argued to have inadequacies from empirical and social policy perspectives.
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