A child's reputation is largely dependent upon the social status of his or her family.
A child will base his or her identity based on the implications that this reputation has in relation to both peers and adults.
Identities for children of this era were not clearly defined due to social ambiguities, which stemmed from economic losses in all social classes. In other words, a family's economic loss lead to an uncertainty of social status; comparisons of past status versus present status left many children with ambiguous, yet malleable identities.
The sense of "everyone being in the same boat" diminished the distinguishing characteristics of the social classes that had previously existed prior to the Depression.
The generation of this era has generally been found to be ambitious, often seeking achievement, power and status. According to the table below (Table A-19), a need for achievement, status and power increased with higher degrees of economic depravity. Perhaps economic losses that effected a one's family status left children with an ambitious desire to overcome such losses, leading to a generation of aspirations, goals, and purpose.
This generation has also been found to be patriotic and trusting of the American government. Children growing up around the time of the Depression experienced a sense of trust in the government due to the efforts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), who's New Deal programs quickly generated jobs and capital for the American people. Furthermore, this generation came of age during World War II, when patriotism ran high among American Citizens.
Table taken from Children of the Great Depression: Social Change in Life Experience by Glen Elder.