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This paper examines the existing evidence on the association between premarital pregnancy and marital dissolution, deriving possible explanations to account for the link between the timing of conception and the marital outcome, and testing certain of these explanations using selected data from a five year longitudinal study on the social consequences of unplanned parenthood. Information was collected on the marital careers of 203 young women who became premaritally pregnant in their early teens and 90 of their classmates most of whom married before pregnancy. The marital histories of the two samples show that disruption in the courtship process and limited economic resources are the most important factors contributing to marital dissolution.