Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Amber Nelson, PsyD

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


In recent years, there has been greater awareness of the impact of human sex trafficking within the United States. Dozens of initiatives and programs have formed to combat the trafficking pandemic, leading to new understandings of the complexity involved with fighting against sex trafficking and the care involved with rehabilitating and empowering survivors of this injustice. Several studies have focused specifically on which pieces of aftercare tend to support greater healing in survivors over time. This care incorporates multiple discipline areas, including mental health, life skills, and healthcare services. Even so, there is a gap in literature highlighting connections between success in completion of aftercare rehabilitation programs and which characteristics increase likelihood for success in reintegration to society. The purpose of this study was to identify which factors in applicants entering a sex trafficking rehabilitation program will have greater success of rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The study hypothesized that applicants who have greater interpersonal connections and history of fewer adverse experiences were more likely to complete and fully reintegrate following the aftercare program. These factors were measured through archival chart review of previous applicants within a specific, faith-based aftercare program to code and analyze success or failures in completing the program. The findings examined connections between program graduation rates and the coded items related to personal characteristics and facilitation of success. Results indicated few associations between program success and personal characteristics. Specifically, participants who reported a history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were associated with graduation from the program. Additional statistics revealed strong comorbidities between mental health disorders which is consistent with prior literature. Overall, the study suggests implications for the impact of resiliency and trauma as it relates to program success.

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Psychology Commons