Depression, anxiety, and other comorbid psychological conditions are commonly found in child sex trafficking victims (Basson et al., 2012; Cole et al., 2016; Cook et al., 2018; Hargreaves-Cormany & Patterson, 2016; Hossain et al., 2010; Hopper, 2017; Middleton et al., 2018; Pierce, 2012; Reid, 2018; Shaw et al., 2017). Given the likelihood that mental health professionals may encounter victims of child sex trafficking, it is necessary to have a comprehensive and universal understanding of sex trafficking in order to most effectively address victims’ needs through evidence-based practices and inventions. The purpose of this study was to gain a more informed understanding of how child sex trafficking is being defined in the psychological literature. A systematic review of the 21 articles revealed that child sex trafficking is not universally conceptualized with varying and narrow definitions being used as guidelines. These findings inform and highlight the need for a universal, operational definition of child sex trafficking to better assess and serve the needs of victims.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Davidson, C.L. (2020). A systematic review of the literature: Defining child sex trafficking [Master's Alternative Plan Paper, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/972/
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