SSWR Doctoral Student Spotlight

The SSWR Doctoral Student Members Task Force is launching a new series featuring research conducted by doctoral students. The series is intended to bring awareness and attention to the research being done by social work doctoral students, as well as important issues in the field. One spotlight piece will be featured each week on the SSWR Doctoral Student Member Blog & Facebook Page during the fall 2018 semester. 

Youth Experiences Survey: Exploring the sex trafficking and labor trafficking experiences of homeless young adults in Arizona. 

Student Researcher: Kimberly A. Hogan, MA, MSW, PhD Student, Arizona State University

Kimberly A. Hogan

Kimberly A. Hogan

About the Researcher: Kimberly is a second-year doctoral student who has a focus on domestic sex trafficking. She works closely with the National Criminal Justice Training Center, AMBER Alert, City of Phoenix Starfish Place, and the Phoenix and Las Vegas Metropolitan VICE Units.  Her research work spans the prevention, detection, identification, and treatment of minor and adult sex trafficking victims.

Description of the Study: The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences reported by homeless young adults in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona and to explore the prevalence of sex and labor trafficking among the participants. This study also compares the life experiences and treatment needs of sex trafficked and non-sex trafficked homeless young adults and labor trafficked and non-labor trafficked homeless young adults.

Methodological Approach: This study utilized a cross-sectional research design and included a convenience sample of 187 homeless young adults aged 18 to 25 years old that completed a self-administered survey. The Youth Experiences Survey (YES) is a 65-item, paper and pencil survey.

Findings: Of the 2017 sample of 187 homeless young adult respondents, 58 (31%) reported experiencing sex trafficking exploitation, and 60 (32.1%) reported experiencing labor trafficking exploitation. At least one form of human trafficking (either sex or labor) was reported by 80 (42.8%) respondents and 38 (20.3%) respondents reported experiencing both sex and labor trafficking exploitation.

Implications: The results of the YES survey call on Arizona’s community to develop a comprehensive approach to screen for both labor and sex trafficking among homeless and runaway young people and to develop community protocols that outline services standards. Additional state and community-based funding is necessary to assist providers in maintaining services that meet the complex needs of our homeless youth and young adults.

Questions or comments for Kimberly? Email her: