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Adolescent pregnancy, per se, has been devoted little consideration by clinical observers and empirical researchers. For the most part, such pregnancies have received attention only insofar as they have occurred without the moral and legal sanctions of matrimony. This concern with illegitimacy has had the effect of blinding theorists and researchers to a whole segment of the adolescent pregnant population--the married teenager. Further, the adverse effects of adolescent pregnancy have been shrouded by moral precepts.

From existing evidence there appears to be no doubt that the married teenage girl is an integral part of the adolescent pregnancy phenomenon; one which is, in effect, very similar to the unwed mothers' phenomenon as it relates to the incidence of poverty. For both wed and unwed teenagers who have a pregnancy and subsequent birth at a too young age, the likelihood of poverty conditions is high. Incomplete education, low income level, psychological and developmental problems, excessive fertility and probable social dependency are problems common to both populations of girls.

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