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young adolescents standing in a groupDr. Witherspoon’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.