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This thesis compares the living conditions and coping mechanisms of four single mothers making minimum wage and four single mothers making above minimum wage in Tallahassee, FL. The study examines kin support networks, adjustments of needs and wants, perceptions about the well-being of self and children and the future of their families. The data shows optimistic views of self and future particularly from single mothers earning a living wage. A result in line with the data suggesting that earning a higher wage has the potential of avoiding the stigma of poverty and increasing self-esteem