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Dawn Witherspoon

address: 217 Moore Building
location: Liberal Arts
phone: 814-867-3112
department: Psychology


Witherspoon, Context and Development Lab

Research interests in the Context and Development Lab involve understanding how context shapes adolescents’ development and how race, ethnicity, and other cultural attributes interact with contextual characteristics to influence adolescent outcomes. Past projects in the lab (FAN-C: Families, Adolescents, and Neighborhoods in Context;PLACES/LUGARES) have explored the roles of different contexts such as residential neighborhoods, activities spaces, schools, and families on African American and Latino adolescent’s academic outcomes, beliefs, and behaviors, including substance use and affiliation with deviant peers. We also explore the role of parenting in these links. Presently, the lab is seeking undergraduates interested in qualitative data coding and analysis. Undergraduate research assistants will be trained to code and analyze focus group transcripts, including being trained in the use of special, qualitative data analytical software. Undergraduate research assistants may also be involved in preparing research materials, enter and coding quantitative data, conducting literature searches, and completing annotated bibliographies. Other lab tasks may be assigned as needed. Publication possibilities exist.

Number of undergraduates needed: undefined
Minimum qualifications: : Because of the nature and training involved with the lab projects, we ask for a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 and a minimum commitment of at least 2 semesters. Students are required to spend 10 hours per week involved in lab-related activities, including a one-hour weekly lab/coding meeting which research assistants are required to attend. Bilingualism (i.e., Spanish) is desired but not required.