Examining Perceived Family Support as a Moderator of Associations between Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Parental Stress among Sex Trafficking Survivors with Children
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Human Development and Family Studies
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In addition to the adverse health outcomes associated with sex trafficking victimization – namely posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – trafficking survivors with children may face additional parenting-related stressors. The purpose of this study was to carry out the first quantitative exploratory investigation into the associations between PTSD and parenting stress using a sample of 42 adult sex trafficking survivors. Analyses addressed two research questions: 1) Does PTSD symptom severity predict parental stress among survivors of sex trafficking with children? 2) Does perceived social support – specifically perceived family support – moderate the association between PTSD symptom severity and parental stress among survivors of sex trafficking with children? Results from a hierarchical multiple regression indicated that higher PTSD symptom severity was a significant predictor of lower levels of parenting stress, but only when survivors reported low levels of perceived family support. This paper includes a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of these results, along with recommendations for future research.