Human trafficking of minors and childhood adversity in Florida

Joan A. Reid, Michael T. Baglivio, Alex R. Piquero, Mark A. Greenwald, Nathan Epps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. To examine the link between human trafficking of minors and childhood adversity. Methods. We compared the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and cumulative childhood adversity (ACE score) among a sample of 913 juvenile justice-involved boys and girls in Florida for whom the Florida child abuse hotline accepted human trafficking abuse reports between 2009 and 2015 with those of a matched sample. Results. ACE composite scores were higher and 6 ACEs indicative of child maltreatment were more prevalent among youths who had human trafficking abuse reports. Sexual abuse was the strongest predictor of human trafficking: the odds of human trafficking was 2.52 times greater for girls who experienced sexual abuse, and there was a 8.21 times greater risk for boys who had histories of sexual abuse. Conclusions. Maltreated youths are more susceptible to exploitation in human trafficking. Sexual abuse in connection with high ACE scores may serve as a key predictor of exploitation in human trafficking for both boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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