Previous research has suggested that adolescent peers influence behavior and provide social support during a critical developmental period, but few studies have addressed the antecedents of adolescent social networks. Research on the collateral consequences of incarceration has explored the implications of parental incarceration for children’s behavioral problems, academic achievement, health, and housing stability, but not their social networks. Using network data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, I find that adolescents with recently incarcerated fathers are in socially marginal positions in their schools and befriend more-marginal peers than other adolescents: their friends are less advantaged, less academically successful, and more delinquent than other adolescents’ friends. Differences in network outcomes are robust to a variety of specifications and are consistent across race and gender subgroups. This study advances the social networks literature by exploring how familial characteristics can shape adolescent social networks and contributes to the collateral consequences of incarceration literature by using network analysis to consider how mass incarceration may promote intergenerational social marginalization.

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