Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Winston Seegobin


Human trafficking has been explored in many countries, but few studies about girls’ experiences in trafficking within the United States exist. This study focuses on the experiences of resilience and hope of adolescent girls who have been trafficked and the stories of their lives. Participants are adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 18 who are in or have contact with a local juvenile detention center. Interviews were conducted and a qualitative study was utilized to determine common themes of how trafficked girls understand and experience resiliency and hope in their lives. Participants also completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Children’s Hope Scale or Adult Hope Scale, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25. Significant results were found between the sample used in this study and normative samples in resilience and hope. The adolescent girls in this study demonstrated decreased resilience scores, t(594) = 2.15, p = .032. The younger group of adolescent girls also demonstrated decreased hope scores, t(331) = 2.00, p = .047. However, the adolescent girls in the older group exhibited increased hope scores, t(275) = 3.18, p = .002. Descriptive data was collected for the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 Anxiety Scale (M = 18.79, SD = 5.42) and Depression Scale (M = 31.37, SD = 7.65). Ten themes were derived from the interviews, including positive attachment, sense of capability, positive self-concept, ability to see other parts of her identity, sense of purpose, religious beliefs, planning for the future, actively seeking change, others-focused thinking, and hope for change. The implications of this study may direct clinical focus when working with these adolescent girls and provide clinicians with an understanding of the importance of encouraging resilience and hope during the recovery process.