Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Judith LeMaster

Reader 2

Jennifer Groscup

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Rights Information

© 2016 Alexandra S. Tomback

Abstract

The current literature on victims of sex trafficking lacks adequate research on effective therapeutic treatments for this population. This study aims to find an effective therapy for female victims of sex trafficking to treat trauma-related symptoms including PTSD, depression, anxiety, self-blame, self-esteem, and overall well-being by testing the effectiveness of eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), trauma recovery and empowerment model (TREM), and psychoeducation. In this study, approximately 180-200 female victims of sex trafficking ages 18 or older will be randomly assigned to either the EMDR, TREM, psychoeducation, or a control-wait-list group. Trauma-related symptoms will be assessed pre-treatment (Time 1), post-treatment (Time 2), and 6- months post-treatment (Time 3) to assess the effectiveness of each intervention over time. It is expected that participants in all therapy groups will display significantly improved trauma-related symptoms compared to participants in the control-wait list group at time 2. It is further expected that participants in the TREM group will display significantly reduced self-blame and increased self-esteem and overall well-being at time 2 compared to participants in the EMDR and psychoeducation groups. Lastly, it is expected that improvement in trauma-related symptoms will be maintained from time 2 to time 3. These expected findings suggest that TREM will be the most effective long-term therapy for female victims of trafficking.

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