AuthorLove, Rene Allen
Committee ChairBadger, Terry
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResearch on female street prostitutes has focused on negative consequences of the lifestyle. Yet, there is a dearth of literature on resilience and coping. This study addresses resilience and coping skills among three groups of women in various stages of prostitution: actively prostituting, exited the lifestyle for less than six months and exited for more than eighteen months. Aims included a description, a comparison and exploration of relationships for the following variables: trauma in childhood and adulthood, physical and mental health problems, number of provider visits in the last year, resilience and coping skills. There is an estimated 70,000 to one million prostitutes in the United States. Female Street prostitutes suffer the highest rates of violence, abuse, and stigma of all types of sex workers with the violence often leading to an increase in premature mortality. Female street prostitutes have been shown to be at high risk for mental and physical health problems, violence, and homelessness. There were 50 female street prostitutes who completed the following seven questionnaires: Demographic Characteristics, The Adverse Childhood Experiences, Adult Trauma Questionnaire, Health Questionnaire, The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale, The Ways of Coping, and The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs Short Screener. The findings support women who exited the lifestyle of prostitution for more than eighteen months had a higher score on resilience. The women were able to address substance abuse, crime/violence, and externalizing issues early in treatment however scores on internalizing issues were only lower in the women exiting the lifestyle for 18 months or more. Women who had exited for more than 18 months had higher positive reappraisal scores and lower distancing. Women still prostituting reported acute health issues whereas women exiting the lifestyle for 18 months or more reported chronic issues. These findings suggest that women who have experienced trauma throughout their lives will need longer-term treatment to promote resilient reintegration into society. Access to therapy is needed early upon exiting the lifestyle. Healthcare providers need to be educated to recognize red flags of prostitutes so appropriate assessments and interventions can occur much earlier in their life.
Degree ProgramGraduate College