Date of Conferral







Dr. Leann Stadtlander


Throughout history, the media's rendering of slavery depicts vulnerable groups caught in a network of trafficking looking for a better life. Scholars of trafficking cite challenges in understanding the health care needs of domestic forced labor trafficking survivors in the United States. Seminal trafficking findings have shown that variations of trafficking affect the survivors' health after surviving trafficking. Therefore, in this qualitative, narrative inquiry I sought to understand how 8 survivors of forced labor trafficking, ages 25 years and older, described their health following trafficking beyond 5 years. The theory of social constructionism constituted the theoretical foundation, and the salutogenic model of health is the conceptual framework. The research questions for the study focused on understanding how adult survivors described experiences of entering and exiting trafficking, and their physical health, post-trafficking involvement. Criterion sampling facilitated identifying survivors of forced labor trafficking. Semi-structured interviewing guided the survivors' narrative storytelling. For analyzing the narratives, I used Braun and Clarke's Thematic Analysis strategy. The results of the pilot and main study showed that survivors suffer from an array of ongoing cognitive and general health concerns beyond surviving trafficking. The findings suggest that these ongoing health conditions influenced survivors' well-being beyond surviving trafficking. The results of the study may lead those in the medical field (e.g. health administrators) to identify other conditions influencing survivors' health after surviving trafficking.