We are pleased to welcome Dawn Witherspoon as a new faculty affiliate here at the Child Study Center!
Dawn is an Assistant Professor in the Developmental area of the Psychology Department. She received her Doctorate in Community Psychology from New York University in 2008. She then completed a two-and-a-half year post-doctoral fellowship through the Center for Developmental Science and the Department of Psychology Black Child Training Grant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working with Nancy Hill, Susan Ennett, Linda Burton, and Vonnie McLoyd.
Dawn’s research focuses on context and adolescent development. More specifically, she investigates how neighborhoods, families and schools influence adolescent psychosocial and academic development, and examines mechanisms by which race and/or ethnicity influence development in these various contexts. She is particularly interested in identifying positive neighborhood characteristics which can buffer any negative effects of poverty and disadvantage on adolescent functioning. She is also interested in exploring how health outcomes are related to neighborhood contexts. Dawn is excited to be here at Penn State and is looking forward to continuing her research and collaborating with other faculty members.