Human Trafficking & Vulnerable Populations Research Lab


In the Human Trafficking & Vulnerable Population Research Lab, our scientific efforts are devoted to empirical investigations of marginalized people. We focus on bio-ecological developmental processes—with emphasis on how the results of our research can help improve the quality and well-being of at-risk populations. Although sex trafficking survivors forms the basis of Dr. Dalla’s research, her students’ unique interests (e.g., adult children of exotic dancers, education of migrant children) extend to additional vulnerable populations.

Dr. Dalla's Human Trafficking Work


Latest Book:

Human Trafficking Journal

Divided into four sections, the International Handbook of Human Trafficking: A Multi-Disciplinary and Applied Approach offers the reader a comprehensive and fresh approach to anti-trafficking scholarship and efforts via: (a) in-depth analyses and opportunities for application (through case studies, critical thinking questions, and supplemental learning materials); (b) multidisciplinary linkages, with disciplinary overlap across each of the four sections acknowledged and highlighted; and (c) content experts representing multiple segments of society (academia, government, foundation, law enforcement, and practice) and global vantage points (Australia, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States).

Written by expert scholars, service providers, policy analysts, and healthcare professionals, this Handbook is an invaluable resource for those already working in the field, as well as for students in any discipline who want to learn (or learn more) about HT and modern-day slavery.

Recent Journal Articles 1:
  • Dalla, R. L., Erwin, S., & Kreimer, L. (2019). Children of Mumbai’s brothels: Investigating developmental prospects, primary relationships, and service provision. Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Science, 68(1), 104-118. DOI: 10.1111/fare.12347
  • Kennedy, H. R., & Dalla, R. L., & Dreesman, S. (2018). "We are two of the lucky ones": Experiences with marriage and family well-being for married same sex couples. Journal of Homosexuality, Special Issue, LGBTQ Families, 65(9), 104-118. DOI: 10.1111/fare.12347
  • Taylor, S., Calkins, C. A., Xia, Y., & Dalla, R. L. (2017). Adolescent perceptions of dating violence: A qualitative study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(21), 1-21
  • Dalla, R. L., & Kreimer, L. (2017). “After your honor is gone…” Exploration of developmental trajectories and life experiences of women working in Mumbai’s red-light brothel districts. Sexuality & Culture, 21(1), 163-186. DOI: 10.1007/s12119-016-9388-4
  • Dalla, R. L., & Kennedy, H. R. (2017). “I Want to Leave—Go Far Away…I Don’t Want to Get Stuck on the Reservation”: Examining Developmental Trajectories and Indicators of Well-Being among the Adolescent-Aged Children of Navajo Native American Teenage Mothers, Journal of Adolescent Research, 30, 113-139. DOI: 10.1177/0743558414552322
  • *Kennedy, H. R., & Dalla, R. L. (2014). Examining Identity Consolidation Processes among Ethnic Minority Gay Men and Women. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 26 (4), 465-501.
  • Dalla, R. L., *Bailey, K., *Cunningham, A., *Green, N., & *Vyhlidal, J. J. (2013). “I’ve devoted my entire life to my daughter—and she knows it.” Exploration of Identity Development among Now-Adult Navajo Native American Adolescent Mothers. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 13(2), 159-186. DOI: 10.1080/15283488.2013.776963
  • Dalla, R. L., *Marchietti, A. M., *Sechrest, E. A., & *White, J. L. (2010). “All the Men Here Have the Peter Pan Syndrome—They Don’t Want to Grow Up”: Navajo Adolescent Mothers’ Intimate Partner Relationships...A Fifteen Year Perspective. Violence against Women, 16(7), 743-763.16(5), 579-600. DOI: 10.1177/107780121037486
  • Baker, L., Dalla, R. L., & Williamson, C. (2010). Exiting Prostitution: An Integrative Model. Violence Against Women, 16(5), 579-600. DOI: 10.1177/1077801210367643
  • Dalla, R. L., *DeLeón, J. G., *Stuhmer, T., & *Léon, M. (2010). Rural community longevity: Capitalizing on diversity for immigrant residential stability. The Business Journal of Hispanic Research, 4(1), 43-55.
  • Dalla, R. L., *Jacobs-Hagen, S. B., *Jareske, B. K., & *Sukup, J. L. (2009). Examining the Lives of Navajo Native American Teenage Mothers in Context: A Twelve to Fifteen Year Follow-Up. Family Relations, 58(2), 148-161. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2008.00543.x
  • Abbott, D. & Dalla, R. L. (2008). “It’s a choice, simple as that”: Youth Reasoning for Sexual Abstinence or Activity. Journal of Youth Studies, 11(6), 629-649. DOI: 10.1080/13676260802225751
  • Dalla, R. L., Huddleston-Casas, C., & *León, M. (2008). Investigating Psycho-Social Well-Being among Ethnically Diverse Rural Women: Expect the Unexpected. Great Plains Research, 18(2), 143-154.
  • *Siemer, K., & Dalla, R. L. (2007). Predicting likelihood to use EAPs in small businesses. Journal of Employee Assistance, 37(3), 13-15.
  • Dalla, R. L. (2006). “You can’t hustle all your life”: An exploratory investigation of the exit process among street-level prostituted women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 276-290. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00296.x
  • Dalla, R. L., *MoulikGupta, P., Lopez, W., & Jones, V. (2006). “It’s a balancing act!”: An exploration of the school/work/family interface among rural Nebraska, bilingual para-professional educators. Family Relations (Special Collection: Working with Latino Families in the United States), 55, 390-402. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2006.00410
  • Carter, D. J., & Dalla, R. L. (2006). Application of transactional analysis: Street-level prostituted women as mental health care clients. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 13(1), 95-119. DOI: 10.1080/10720160600586424
  • Dalla, R. L., Lopez, W., Jones, V., & Xia, Y. (2006). Individual and familial stressors among rural Nebraskan, bilingual paraprofessional educators. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 5(2), 127-141. DOI: 10.1177/1538192705285
  • Dalla, R. L., *Ellis, A., & Cramer, S. C. (2005). Immigration & Rural America: Latinos’ perceptions of work and residence in three meat-packing communities. Community, Work & Family, 8(2), 163-185. DOI:10.1080/1366880050004963
  • Dalla, R. L., & *Christensen, A. (2005). Latino immigrants describe residence in rural Midwestern meat-packing communities: A longitudinal assessment of social and economic change. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 27(1), 23-42. DOI: 10.1177/0739986304272354
  • Dalla, R. L., Villarruel, F., Cramer, S., & Gonzalez-Kruger, G. (2004). Rural community change, strengths, and challenges: Long-term residents describe impacts of rapid immigration. Great Plains Research / Special Issue– New Immigrants in the Great Plains: Strengths and Challenges, 14 (2), 231-252.
  • DeFrain, J., Dalla, R. L., Abbott, D. A., & Johnson, J. (2004). We welcome the new immigrants. In DeFrain, J., Dalla, R., L., Abbott, D. A., & Johnson, J. (Eds.), Great Plains Research: A Journal of Natural and Social Sciences, 14(2), 335-346.
  • Dalla, R. L. (2004). “I fell off [the mothering] track”: Barriers to ‘effective mothering’ among street-level prostituted women. Family Relations / Special Issue: Complexity of Family Life Among Low Income and Working Poor, 53, 190-200. DOI: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2004.00009.x
  • Bischoff, R., & Dalla, R. L. (2003). Responding to the need for training in Positive Youth Development: The Great Plains Idea. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 95(4), 19-22.
  • Dalla, R. L., Xia, Y., & *Kennedy, H. (2003). “You just give them what they want and pray they don’t kill you”: Street-level sex workers’ reports of victimization, personal resources and coping strategies. Violence Against Women, 9(11), 1367-1394. DOI: 10.1177/1077801203255679
  • Dalla, R. L. (2003). When the bough breaks: Examining intergenerational parent-child relationship patterns among street-level sex-workers & their parents & children. Applied Developmental Science, 7(4), 216-228. DOI: 10.1207/S1532480XADS0704_1
  • Dalla, R. L. (2002). Night moves: A qualitative investigation of street-level sex work. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26, 63-73. DOI: 10.1111/1471-6402.00044
  • Dalla, R. L. (2000). Exposing the ‘pretty woman’ myth: A qualitative investigation of the lives of female streetwalkers. Journal of Sex Research, 37(4), 344-353. DOI: 10.1080/00224490009552057

  • 1 Student co-authors represented with asterisks.

    Journal of Human Trafficking

    I am privileged to be the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Human Trafficking (JHT)—a quarterly, peer-reviewed and international journal published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis!

    Our inaugural issued debuted March, 2015 and was founded on the principle belief that the generation, dissemination and application of new knowledge is fundamental to the eradication of human trafficking and allied forms of slavery.

    Human Trafficking Journal

    JHT was envisioned as: (1) a repository for innovative and applied knowledge on all aspects of human trafficking and modern-day slavery; (2) a centralized resource for academics, scientists, policy makers, practitioners, and students alike seeking the latest empirical discoveries and field-tested “best practices”; (3) a bridge in the chasm between theory, applied research, and practice; and (4) a platform from which to contemplate the power and impact of multidisciplinary perspectives.

    Since its inaugural issue, JHT has experienced significant growth and success. Today, it is considered THE quintessential resource for cutting-edge scholarship, innovative inquiry, and pioneering practice necessary to advance the anti-trafficking movement.

    Please visit our website to learn more

    Rochelle L. Dalla, Editor, Journal of Human Trafficking
    Professor, Department of Child, Youth & Family Studies
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE USA


    Grad Students

    Jessie Peter

    Jessie Peter Graduate Assistant

    Learn more about Jessie

    Kaitlin Roselius

    Kaitlin Roselius Graduate Assistant

    Learn more about Kaitlin

    Sarah Erwin

    Sarah Erwin Graduate Assistant

    Learn more about Sarah

    Victoria Johnson

    Victoria Johnson Graduate Assistant

    Learn more about Victoria