A major task for research on the social costs of economic stress is to trace how macrosocial changes affect increasingly smaller social units and ultimately those microsocial phenomena that directly influence children in their families. In this paper, we specify linkages between macroeconomic change and children's development by tracing deprivational effects through family adaptations in the household economy and in personal relationships. Our findings from research on children and families of the Great Depression are discussed in relation to an interactional model of the process by which families adapt to stressful times.