What were the postive and negative impacts on American families during World War II?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The obvious negative impact was that thousands of American families suffered the loss of a family member during the war. There is, of course, no way to measure the impact of these losses on families, but a sense of loss was pervasive in the United States during World War II. Virtually everyone either lost a father, husband, son, or brother, or knew someone who did. 

Additionally, many American families suffered financially as a result of the war, primarily from lost income. The war also put a strain on both wives and their children, as they were forced to take on additional roles in the absence of men. Families were forced to deal with rations and shortages of items ranging from sugar to gasoline.

On the other hand, the aftermath of the war created enormous opportunities for returning servicemen and their families. Young men, including those with families, had the chance to receive an education or job training through the GI Bill of Rights. Additionally, many young families could buy homes with low interest government loans. For many people in war-related industries, the war also represented a boom, as average wages almost doubled, even among lower-income Americans.