Previous research suggests that adolescent peers influence behavior and provide social support during a critical developmental period, but few studies address 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 consistent across race and gender subgroups. This paper 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.
Estimating the lifetime wealth consequences of homeownership is complicated by ongoing events, such as divorce or inheritance, that may shape both homeownership decisions and later-life wealth. We argue that prior research that has not accounted for these dynamic selection processes has overstated the causal effect of homeownership on wealth. Using NLSY79 data and marginal structural models, we find that each additional year of homeownership increases midlife wealth in 2008 by about $6,800, more than 25 percent less than estimates from models that do not account for dynamic selection. Hispanic and African American wealth benefits from each homeownership year are 62 percent and 48 percent as large as those of whites, respectively. Homeownership remains wealth-enhancing in 2012, but shows smaller returns. Our results confirm homeownership’s role in wealth accumulation and that variation in both homeownership rates and the wealth benefits of homeownership contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in midlife wealth holdings.
Men who have children with several partners are often assumed to be “deadbeats” who eschew their responsibilities to their children. Using data from the nationally representative National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort (NLSY-97), we show that most men in complex families intensively parent the children of one mother while being less involved, or not involved at all, with children by others. Repeated qualitative interviews with 110 low-income noncustodial fathers reveal that men in complex families often engage with and provide, at least to some degree, for all of the biological and stepchildren who live in one mother’s household. These activities often exceed those extended to biological children living elsewhere. Interviews also show that by devoting most or all of their resources to the children of just one mother, men in complex families feel successful as fathers even if they are not intensively involved with their other biological children.