Life History theory and social deviance: The mediating role of Executive Function

C. J. Wenner, J. Bianchi, A. J. Figueredo, J. Philippe Rushton, W. J. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The present work examined predicted relations among Life History strategies, Executive Functions, socially antagonistic attitudes, socially antagonistic behaviors, and general intelligence. Life History (LH) theory predicts that Executive Functions and socially antagonistic attitudes and behaviors underpin an interrelated and coherent set of behavioral strategies (LH strategies) designed to enhance reproductive success. Specifically, LH theory predicts a positive relation between Executive Functioning and LH strategies; a negative relation between socially antagonistic attitudes and behaviors and LH strategies; and that Executive Functions mediate relations among LH strategies and socially antagonistic attitudes and behaviors. Results from a Structural Equation Model (SEM), based on self-reported Life History strategies, Executive Functioning, socially antagonistic attitudes and behaviors, and general intelligence support these predictions. The structure of the model suggests that Executive Functions serve a mediating role in the relations between LH strategy and social deviance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-113
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Deviance
  • Executive Functioning
  • Impulsivity
  • Life History theory
  • Self-Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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