How Do Trafficking Survivors Cope? Identifying the General and Spiritual Coping Strategies of Men Trafficked into the United States

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Abstract

This study used a mixed method, convergent parallel design to identify the coping strategies—both general and spiritual—used by men who were internationally trafficked. A hybrid purposive/snowball sampling method was used to recruit participants. This procedure yielded a sample of twenty-one men who were trafficked into the United States from Asia and Latin America. Analyses of the survey data revealed the most prominently cited sources of coping were, in decreasing order: spirituality, work, and family. Roughly three-quarters of the sample (76%, n = 16) reported using spiritual coping strategies, of which the most common were: prayer, God, and church. Among those who used spiritual strategies, a plurality reported that the strategies were the most important factor that kept them going. The results have important implications for those who work with trafficked men. Understanding common coping strategies equips practitioners with the knowledge to assess, identify, and operationalize potential assets that may help survivors deal with presently experienced challenges. Future researchers might examine similarities and differences between men and women’s coping strategies to better understand the unique approaches used by both genders to deal with the experience of being trafficked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Coping
  • human trafficking
  • male survivors
  • religion
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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