chapter  10
149 Pages

Children of the Great Depression

ByGlen H. Elder

This chapter presents general themes of change since the Depression, using materials that extend well beyond the present study: marriage and family, children's role in the family and community, aspects of work and achievement among the young, and the collective experience of Depression and postwar generations. The relation between social change and the family still represents a largely unexplored territory. Drastic change and adaptive responses provided the focus for our effort to link economic loss among families in the Depression with personality and careers. Three points summarize the enduring effects of the Depression experience among the Oakland adults: the paths through which they achieved adult status, as against level of status; adult health and preferences in ways of responding to life's problems; and values. For children of the Depression generations and especially for their children, some disciplines practiced in the 30s—frugality, conservation, and so forth—are likely to become imperatives in the years ahead.