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Abstract

The quality of life for many single mothers and their children is shrouded in economic hardship. Women outside the traditional nuclear family, attempting to raise children, are doing so in poverty and without much public support. Marital disruption, teenage mothers, and out of wedlock births have resulted in an alarming number of improverished children living in America. This paper examines census data in the state of Hawaii and the impact of family structure on the quality of lives of women with children. Women living in multigenerational family arrangements, rather than in "traditional" families have higher income, holding family size constant. Social policies that do not focus on the issues of insufficient wages, job security, education, racial, sex and wage discrimination and child care needs will only fail.

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