A Strain-Reactive Pathway to
Victimization in Child Sex
Trafficking in Prostitution
The majority of research on child sex trafficking victims has been qualitative in nature, based on retrospective data gathered from indepth interviews with victims (Goździak & Bump, 2008a; Williams & Frederick, 2009). The process of identifying prior victims of child sex trafficking in prostitution, interviewing them at length, and then organizing the interviews so that they revealed patterns in the occurrences of victimizations effectively documented the common risk markers among victims. This prior body of research was essential in guiding the formation of the theorized pathway tested in this study.
However as was recommended by numerous researchers reporting a severe deficit of methodologically reliable research on sex trafficking (Goździak & Bump, 2008a; Musto, 2009; Zhang, 2009), this study deviated methodologically from the past precedent of relying on qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. From a research perspective, it was considered important to offer multivariate, quantitative evidence of the existence of the theorized pathway into child sex trafficking (Salisbury & Van Voorhis, 2009; Wikström, 2008). By using quantitative methods of data analysis, it was possible to precisely specify and analytically test the proposed pathway and study hypotheses as well as statistically interpret the results of the analyses. For example, based on the use of inferential statistics it was possible to determine how probable it was that the observed