Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Christina D. Brown, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Kathie Bates, Ph.D.


Multidisciplinary professionals across criminal justice, public policy, education, and health and

human services have all attempted to understand the complex phenomenon of sex trafficking to assist victims, correct offenders, and prevent future abuse. However, current research has struggled to agree on terms, definitions of terms, best measures of prevalence, and recommendations to address sex trafficking in the United States. This review of current literature aims to offer a synthesized framework to conceptualize domestic sex trafficking perpetrator behaviors (what they do), their uses of force, fraud, and coercion (how they do it), and their motivations and justifications/rationalizations for those behaviors (why they do it). The resulting conceptual framework can serve as a roadmap to guide the development of tailored assessment instruments and evidence-based treatments as well as improve community prevention and education efforts.