Maslow came up with a theory of motivation. His model consists of several levels physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self actualization. Economic problems fundamentally affects safety needs. Self actualization is focused on achieving what one is capable of becoming. Self actualization requires going beyond the basic needs. Unfortunately, many are stopped at the safety level just to supply food, security.
However there are many critics of the model. Some believe that it's not heirarchal - especially for the basic needs.
Having the right mindset in spite the economic down turn can still result in self actualization.