Date of Award

Spring 1973

Document Type



Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

V. Edward Bates

Second Advisor

Raymond Linder

Third Advisor

Henry Burgess


I am a person, like everyone else, yet different in my own right I am lonely, surrounded by a faceless world I am a young girl, caught in a deeply changing world. Anonymous The above could have been said by practically any teenage girl at any time or stage in history. Perhaps today, though, it means much more, especially to those girls who have experienced or are caught in the midst of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Non-marital pregnancies are becoming increasingly more evident in our own society. The rate of out of wedlock births in 1968 was 339,200, representing nearly 10% of the total births that year (Child Welfare League of America Standards for Services for Unmarried Parents, 1971: 3). Perhaps we are gradually reaching a time when out of wedlock pregnancies will be much more acceptable and much less problem-laden. However, at this time, the illegitimate pregnancy represents a series of critical emotional processes which will likely effect the majority of these women for the remainder of their lives. The out of wedlock pregnancy includes a series of drastic changes which may effect the emotional outlook of the woman toward many things. Her previous ideas of marriage, home and family will be altered. Her feelings about her ability as a mother, both now and in the future, may undergo changes. Parental feelings and relationships with any other men may be questioned.