Misha Inniss-Thompson

Assistant Professor


Misha N. Inniss-Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. Dr. Inniss-Thompson received her doctorate in Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University. She is an alumnus of Cornell's Department of Human Development. During her undergraduate career, she was a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholar.

Dr. Inniss-Thompson’s research examines the impact of families, communities, and schools in shaping Black girls’ mental health and wellness using a cultural-assets perspective.

Research Focus

I am passionate about centering youth voices in the research process through methodological approaches such as photovoice and youth participatory action research.

My program of research investigates three primary questions:

  1. What protective processes buffer the impact of racial discrimination on Black girls’ mental health and wellness?
  2. How do social contexts shape Black adolescent girls’ mental health and wellness during the transition from middle childhood through adolescence? 
  3. What can be gained by creating epistemological and physical spaces and places that support Black girls’ development?


  • Inniss-Thompson, M.N., Butler-Barnes, S.T., Taaffe, C., & Elliott, T. (2022). What serves you”: Charting Black girl spaces for wellness through spirituality, resistance, and homeplace. Journal of African American Women and Girls in Education  2(2), 37–64https://doi.org/10.21423/jaawge-v2i2a113
  • Butler-Barnes, S.T., Leath, S., Inniss-Thompson, M. N., Boyd, D. T., & Allen, P. (2022). Racial and gender discrimination by teachers: Risks for Black girls’ depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000538
  • Cooper, S. M., Burnett, M., Golden, A. R., Butler-Barnes, S., & Inniss-Thompson, M.N. (2022). School discrimination, discipline inequities, and the adjustment of Black adolescent girls and boys. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 32 (1), 170-190, https://doi.org/ /10.1111/jora.12716  
  • Anderson, R. E., Ahn, L. H., Brooks, J.R., Charity-Parker, B., Inniss-Thompson, M.N., Gumudavelly, D., Mitchell, S. & Anyiwo, N. (2022).  “The talk” tells the story: How parents’ racial socialization strategies aim to protect Black adolescents from racism. Journal of Adolescent Research, 38(3), 562 –588, https://doi.org/10.1177/07435584221076067
  • Butler-Barnes, S.T. & Inniss-Thompson, M.N. (2020) “My teacher doesn’t like me”: Perceptions of teacher discrimination and school discipline among African-American and Caribbean Black adolescent girls. Education Sciences, 10, 44. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10020044