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Intelligence in early adulthood and subsequent risk of assult: cohort study of 1,120,998 Swedish men

Record type: Article

Objective: To examine the association between low intelligence (IQ) and increased risk of assault. Previous studies have been relatively small, have not adjust for socioeconomic status, and have not examined method-specific assaults.

Methods: Cox proportional hazards regression was used to explore IQ associations with assault by any means and by four specific methods in a large prospective cohort of 1,120,988 Swedish men. Study members had IQ measured in early adulthood and were well characterized for socioeconomic status in childhood and adulthood. Men were followed-up for an average of 24 years, and hospital admissions for injury due to assault were recorded.

Results: A total of 16,512 (1.5%) men had at least one hospital admission for injury due to assault by any means during follow-up. The most common assault was during a fight (n = 13,144), followed by stabbing (n = 1,211), blunt instrument (b = 352), and firearms assaults (n = 51). After adjusting for confounding variables, lower IQ scores were associated with an elevated risk of hospitalization for assaults by any means (hazard ratio per standard deviation decrease in IQ, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.49, 1.54) and for each of the cause-specific assaults: fight: 1.48 (1.45, 1.51); stabbing: 1.68 (1.58, 1.79); blunt instrument: 1.65 (1.47, 1.85); and firearms: 1.34 (1.00, 1.80). These gradients were stepwise across the full IQ range.

Conclusions: Low IQ scores in early adulthood were associated with a subsequently increased risk of assault. A greater understanding of mechanisms underlying these associations may provide opportunities and strategies for prevention.

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Citation

Whitley, Elise, Batty, G.David, Gale, Catharine R., Deary, Ian J., Tynelius, Per and Rasmussen, Finn (2010) Intelligence in early adulthood and subsequent risk of assult: cohort study of 1,120,998 Swedish men Psychosomatic Medicine, 72, (4), pp. 390-396. (doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d137e9).

More information

Published date: 26 February 2010
Keywords: IQ, assault, socioeconomic status, cohort

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 159695
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/159695
ISSN: 0033-3174
PURE UUID: a7d5813b-f28f-4b33-80ce-5a5f61e73df9

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jul 2010 09:11
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:37

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Contributors

Author: Elise Whitley
Author: G.David Batty
Author: Ian J. Deary
Author: Per Tynelius
Author: Finn Rasmussen

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