Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 503–513 | Cite as

The Experience of Un-or Underemployment and Home Foreclosure for Mature Adults: A Phenomenological Approach

  • Amanda Guinot Talbot
  • Erica Tobe
  • Barbara D. Ames
Original Paper


Mature workers, identified as 40 years of age or older, have been significantly affected by recent increases in unemployment. The purpose of this study was to give voice to the experience of mature workers facing job loss and foreclosure and identify the policy, employment, and economic implications. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants and two key informants. The sample was drawn from a lower-Michigan non-profit organization where participants were seeking foreclosure prevention assistance. Psychological phenomenology focused on the participants’ description and shared meaning of their experience. Creswell’s (2007) integrated approach was also utilized. A codebook, audit trail, and reflexive statements ensured intercoder reliability and trustworthiness. Participants voiced the importance of sharing their story. Five themes were identified: changing norms, experience of mature workers, age as a barrier, technology as a barrier, and housing. Implications for policy, research, and education are discussed.


Home foreclosure Unemployment/underemployment Mature workers Community and families Lifespan development Qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda Guinot Talbot
    • 1
  • Erica Tobe
    • 1
  • Barbara D. Ames
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Development and Family Studies, College of Social ScienceMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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