Even McBee (1999) points to the fact that "men enjoyed nothing better than staying out late and getting drunk" to wash away their more serious problems. Therefore societal issues such as divorce, discrimination, and economic distress as McBee (1999) describes, can be extremely damaging to the family's well being no matter what time table we are living in. They can in fact lead to the idea of the dysfunctional family. I do believe the Great Depression had a severe impact on the functioning of families in a way that led to many adversities such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and even sexual promiscuous in that defined time period.
It is my belief that one of the greatest challenges for the male gender during this time period had to do with the beliefs and ideals that they were raised with. Men felt (and still do) that they had to provide adequate sustenance for the family at all times and if they could not do that then they considered themselves weak and became vulnerable to societal issues, specifically addictions. One of these beliefs is consequently the need to appear "perfect". Another belief that was evident in this time was the belief that men had in regard to the woman's role in the family. Because of the fact that men did not want women to work and also seemingly alienated them, as well as discluded them to a certain degree, it impacted the family during the Great Depression and promoted addictive behaviors onto women as well. However, Chasnoff (1989) claimed that women "were quick to seek help," while men lived in a disillusionment of what was really transpiring within the family, therefore creating more dysfunction whether it was intentional or unintentional. This of course was the central plot of beliefs that, in my opinion, created more disparity among the genders and of which promoted the psychological thought of dysfunctional families in America. In general it is true that there existed those who already had poor moral values, but due to the poorer outlook of the economy it promoted more of a hardship and again took many down a path towards mental incapacity and an inability to function normally on a daily basis. Addictions such as alcoholism, chronic drug use, eating disorders, and uncontrollable anger slowly began tearing at the families and disintegrating life as it was known in that time before the Great Depression.
As was stated, the dysfunction of women was brought on by the acting of the men during the 20's and 30's. Therefore their inability to cope is far more understandable than the male genders actions were. After all, history has shown that men are suppose to carry the more heavy burdens for the family, not crumble beneath them like many men did during the Great Depression. "Many women turned to alcohol and drugs", according to Degler (1980) in order to try and wipe away their own inadequacies that society itself was placing on them. These stemmed from inequality and gender discrimination in their lives. For instance, women have been treated almost like property by men for a good number of generations and these feelings were very high in the 20's and 30's; specifically with so much economical disparity occurring all around everyday people. Women in society were basically "demoralized and held down" (Degler 1980). Although women desired to be treated as self-individuals many times in American society they were not and any form of independence was