Glen H. Elder's intellectual legacy for psychological research on social change in Germany is exemplified by its influence on the first author's research group, spanning the time from the early 1980s until today. Several research lines are reported that were influenced by Elder's concepts and research strategies, such as the notion of hardships, control cycles, and cohort comparisons. The Berlin Youth Longitudinal Study analyzed the consequences of family hardship in West Berlin of the 1980s. The results are compared to a replication of this study in Warsaw, Poland. Whereas these studies were conducted during a time when Germany and Europe were divided into two political blocs, the German Shell Study used a cohort comparison in 1991 and 1996 to delineate two different stages during German unification. Summarizing the results from these studies, the present research agenda of the Jena Study on Social Change and Human Development is introduced. This study aims at the interplay of new personal demands resulting from social change, coping and individual and social resources in different contexts.