Keelan Quinn

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


College of Education and Human Services

Subject Headings

Counseling Psychology


A substantial number of children in the United States are being raised in households with an unemployed parent. These individuals may have unknown and unmet needs, as they are the first generation since the Great Depression to be raised during a time characterized by economic hardship and high unemployment. The purpose of this study was to explore how urban adolescents of unemployed parents experience parental unemployment. This qualitative study was informed by phenomenology for data collection and consensual qualitative research (CQR) for data analysis. Participants included 13 urban adolescents from low socio-economic status areas, who have been raised by unemployed parent(s) or caregiver(s). Data were organized into eight domains that describe how parental unemployment has influenced the personal and social identity and career development of urban adolescents. Results suggested that participants perceive parental unemployment increased awareness, positively and negatively influenced social activities, and positively motivated participants for future success at school and/or work. Implications for clinicians working with this population are discussed.