Center for Family and Demographic Research
Desistance from Crime & Anti-Social Behavior
This research, referred to as the Ohio Longitudinal Study (OLS), builds on the first contemporary longitudinal follow-up of a sample of serious adolescent female offenders. Funding from the W. T. Grant foundation has allowed us to conduct an additional wave of follow-up interviews centered on issues of parenting and child well-being within the design framework of a sample characterized by multiple, overlapping layers of family and environmental risk. The study focuses on determining the nature and extent of risk to children born to individuals who, during their adolescent years, evidenced serious, recurrent involvement in antisocial patterns of behavior; assessing the relative impact of high levels of maternal and paternal deviance on the nature and extent of child risk; describing the mechanisms that may underlie observed cross-generational continuities; and identifying individual, familial, and other social protective factors associated with variations in child-well-being against a backdrop of serious family-related risk.
Building on the Ohio Longitudinal Study, this research utilizes a longitudinal approach to examine criminal behavior and desistance from crime and anti-social behavior. We examine the extent to which and mechanisms through which religious and other spiritual transformations connect to successful movement away from a criminal lifestyle. Our primary interest is to conceptualize and model a more fully interactive relationship between an individual’s inner life experiences, which may or may not be associated with more traditional measures of religiosity, and criminal and anti-social behavior. We supplement data gathered through structured interviews with qualitative in-depth life history narratives gathered at two points in time. Through the narratives, we attempt to elicit and specify the role of religious experiences in desistance processes – both as a core change mechanism, and as a factor that energizes and reinforces other beneficial life changes.
Giordano, Peggy C. Legacies of Crime: A Follow-Up of the Children of Highly Delinquent Girls and Boys. (2010). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Giordano, Peggy C., Monica A. Longmore, Ryan D. Schroeder, and Patrick M. Seffrin. (2008). “A Life Course Perspective on Spirituality and Desistance from Crime.” Criminology 46(1):99-131.
**Giordano, Peggy C., Ryan D. Schroeder, and Stephen A. Cernkovich. (2007). “Emotions and Crime over the Life Course: A Neo-Meadian Perspective on Criminal Continuity and Change.” American Journal of Sociology 112(6):1603-1661.
**James F. Short, Jr. Distinguished Article Award. Crime, Law and Deviance Section
of the American Sociological Association, August, 2009.
Schroeder, Ryan D., Peggy C. Giordano, and Stephen A. Cernkovich. (2007). “Drug Use and the Desistance Processes.” Criminology 45(1):191-122.
Giordano, Peggy C., Jill A. Deines, Stephen A. Cernkovich. (2006). “In and Out of Crime: A Life Course Perspective on Girls’ Delinquency.” Pp. 17-40 in Karen Heimer and Candace Kruttschnitt (Eds.), Gender and Crime: Patterns in Victimization and Offending. New York: New York University Press.
Giordano, Peggy C., Stephen A. Cernkovich, and Allen Lowery. (2004). “A Long-Term Follow-up of Serious Adolescent Female Offenders.” Pp. 186-202 in Martha Putallaz and Karen L. Bierman (Eds.), Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, and Violence among Girls: A Developmental Perspective. New York: Guilford Publication.
Giordano, Peggy C., Stephen A. Cernkovich, and Donna D. Holland. (2003). “Changes in Friendship Relations over the Life Course: Implications for Desistance from Crime.” Criminology 41(2):293-327.
*Giordano, Peggy C., Stephen A. Cernkovich, and Jennifer L. Rudolph. (2002). “Gender, Crime, and Desistance: Toward a Theory of Cognitive Transformation.” American Journal of Sociology 107:990-1064.
*James F. Short, Jr. Distinguished Article Award. Crime, Law and Deviance Section
of the American Sociological Association, August, 2004.
Cernkovich, Stephen A. and Peggy C. Giordano. (2001). “Stability and Change in Antisocial Behavior: The Transition from Adolescence to Early Adulthood.” Criminology 39:371-410.