Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Giordano, Peggy C., and Stephen A. Cernkovich: Cognitive Transformation and Desistance
Cheryl Lero Jonson
While exploring the generalizability of social bond theory to explain the desistance of female offenders, Peggy Giordano, Stephen Cernkovich, and Jennifer Rudolph developed the theory of cognitive transformation. Their theory provides a symbolic interactionist perspective of desistance by examining how both social influences and internal changes within an individual lead to an offender's desistance from criminal behavior. Unlike Travis Hirschi's social bond theory and Robert Sampson and John Laub's age-graded theory of informal social control, Giordano et al. postulate a reciprocal relationship between the actor and the environment, arguing that desisters have not only established prosocial bonds but also have experienced “cognitive shifts” that have facilitated their desistance from criminal behavior (p. 999). More recently, the theory of cognitive transformation has evolved to include the role of emotions in addition to the role of social influences and cognitions in the desistance process. Giordano et al. developed the theory of cognitive ...