A Five Year, One Million Dollar Study
The Effects The Economical Drop Has Had on the Mental Health of Americans
How Does This Compare to The Great Depression Era
I’ve been given the resources to do a study on subjects across the United States that have been affected by the drop in our economy. I will start my study by researching the Great Depression and how it affected the lives of Americans and their mental health. For Example, how much did the rate of divorce, suicide, murders and burglary increase during these years. Who was affected most, the poor or the affluent? Is this a trend that will happen in today’s economic crisis? My research into the great depression era has shown that it had a great psychological effect on Americans in general. The suicide rate increased dramatically, from 12.1 per 100,000 people to approximately 18.9 per 100,000, but mostly through the financial sectors of the US. These were either wealthy men who lost their fortunes in the stock market crash and thus could not face living in poverty, or bankers and financial advisors who had been responsible for the loss of so many of their clients moneys. So the suicide rate seemed to be among the more affluent set. However, domestic violence and child abuse increased dramatically in the working class. Any men suffered from self blame and self doubt with the inability to provide for their families. Over 25% of Americans were unemployed, hardest hit were the African Americans because their jobs were taken away and given to the white population. Over 50% of African Americans were unemployed at this time. The divorce rate increased, however not by a lot because people simply could not afford it. The men merely left their homes and abandoned their families, polls showed that 15 million women were abandoned by their husbands. Many men suffered from impotence as a result of their inability to provide for their families. The birthrate dropped in this period because the men had either simply left, were impotent or the families found out how to use birth control so they would not have more mouths to feed. Nearly 750,000 homes and farms were lost to through bankruptcy. Their seems to be conflicting studies regarding the amount of crime, Some reports show that the actual crime was at a low because people were trying to feed their families, while others show that along with the domestic violence, petty theft increased from people trying to simply feed their families. Prostitution rose because the women were desperate for ways to feed their children once the man of the family left. With the end of prohibition, many Americans turned to Alcoholism to relieve their mental anguish. After my research it is obvious to me that unemployment played a large part in the mental unbalance that led to all these trends.
Today, approximately 14.6 million people are unemployed, an average of 9.10%. The suicide rate among the jobless is 2-3 times that of the national average. Divorce rate in the US is at almost 50%. Crime rate is on a dramatic increase with the government focusing more on increasing security and ways to effectively fight the crime rather than finding out what is causing this and trying to fix the problem. It would seem that the US Government is of the mindset of President Herbert Hoover that the problem will fix itself instead of finding a solution to our problems like President Roosevelt did. I want to take my study into the towns across America. I plan on spending 4 years of my study setting up study groups across the continental United States. My groups will be placed in small towns and farming communities as well as the large industrial or technical cities. Thereby we will take a group of individuals from each area and conduct long range studies. We will be investigating every aspect of their lives. We will be comparing the affluent to the lower to middle income families. Those that are secure in