During the early Thirties, teens experienced the Great Depression through their families and schools. Many saw their fathers out of work for the first time, perhaps even standing in a bread line for food to feed their families. Many men had to find new careers for themselves in low-paying work, just to keep their families together, while mothers, because of the need for low- paid clerical or social service work, could find employment more easily than fathers. In extreme cases, mortgages on houses were foreclosed, and families had to move in with relatives or live in shelters. Many teens sought jobs themselves rather than stay in school where they could not help their families financially. In particularly depressed areas of the country, schools shut down for lack of funds, making teens even more idle. Some teens left home so they would not be a burden, or they left out of boredom or frustration and rode boxcars around the country looking for handouts or temporary work. The result was a much more serious, more psychologically independent teen than the sheik or flapper of the Twenties. By the end of the decade, teens had begun to establish a genuinely separate culture in which they looked to each other rather than to adults for authority and support.
The booming economy of the Twenties laid the groundwork for disaster. As the wealthy invested more in the stock market, often receiving quick,