Jennifer Riedl Cross

Research Associate Professor and Director of Research, Center for Gifted Education

Office: 3010
Phone: (757) 221-2414
Email: [[JRCross]]
Website: {{,W&M website}}
Areas of Expertise: Psychology and Social Experience of Gifted Students, Peer Relationships, Suicidal Behavior, High Ability and Low Income


Jennifer Riedl Cross, Ph.D. is director of research at the William & Mary Center for Gifted Education. She teaches educational psychology and gifted development courses in the Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership department. Dr. Cross is co-editor, with Tracy L. Cross, of the Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents, now in its second edition. She and Dr. Tracy L. Cross co-authored the book, Suicide among Gifted Children and Adolescents (2nd ed.), and numerous articles on the topic. They are the editors of the new SENG Journal: Exploring the Psychology of Giftedness.

In addition to research on mental health aspects of giftedness, Dr. Cross’s studies in the field of gifted education emphasize its social aspects. Extending Coleman and Cross’s early work on the stigma of giftedness, she led a cross-cultural study of the social experience of gifted students, which stimulated the development of the Social Experience of Gifted Students Scale (SEGSS). Through the Center’s collaboration with the Centre for Talented Youth-Ireland, Dr. Cross has conducted numerous studies with Irish educators, parents, and gifted students.

In 2011, Dr. Cross guest edited, with Dr. James Borland, a special issue of the Roeper Review on the topic of gifted education and social inequality. She was an invited keynote speaker at the Roeper Institute's 2016 “A Matter of Equity Symposium" and at “A Matter of Equity 2021 Summer Institute,” in support of gifted education in Detroit. Dr. Cross is active with Camp Launch, the Center's residential summer camp for low-income, high-ability middle school students, where she conducts research and created a class on personal development, which emphasizes the development of psychological resources.
Dr. Cross was the 2015-2017 Chair of the Conceptual Foundations Network of the National Association for Gifted Children and is a member of the Society for Research on Adolescence and the American Psychological Association.


Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Ball State University, 2008
MA in Cognitive and Social Processes, Ball State University, 2005
MA in Educational Psychology, Ball State University, 1997
BS in Business Administration, Tusculum College, 1986

Activities and Honors

Mensa Foundation 2021, 2017 Award for Research Excellence

Co-Editor, SENG Journal

Co-Chair, William & Mary Suicide Prevention Coalition (2019-2022)

Co-Chair, William & Mary Campus Connect Suicide Prevention Program (2017-2022)

Member, William & Mary Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Program Executive Committee (2021-2024)

Chair, Conceptual Foundations Network, National Association for Gifted Children (2015-2017)

Scientific Committee Member, European Council for High Ability 2018 Conference

2012 Legacy Book Award, Scholar Category, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Selected Publications

Cross, T. L., & Cross, J. R. (Eds.). (2021). Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents, 2nd ed. Prufrock Academic Press.

Cross, J. R. (2021). Peer relationships. In T. L. Cross & J. R. Cross (Eds.) Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents, 2nd ed. (pp. 471-488). Prufrock Academic Press.

Cross, T. L., & Cross, J. R. (2021). An ecological model of suicidal behavior among students with gifts and talents. High Ability Studies. 32, 105-123. DOI: 10.1080/13598139.2020.1733391

Cross, T. L., & Cross, J. R. (2021). A school-based conception of giftedness: Clarifying roles and responsibilities in the development of talent in our public schools. In R. J. Sternberg & D. Ambrose (Eds.) Conceptions of Giftedness and Talent (pp. 83-98). Palgrave MacMillan.

Cross, T. L., Cross, J. R., Dudnytska, N., Kim, M., & Vaughn, C. T. (2020). A psychological autopsy of an intellectually gifted student with Attention Deficit Disorder. Roeper Review, 42(1), 6-24.

Cross, J. R., Vaughn, C. T., Mammadov, S., Cross, T. L., Kim, M., O’Reilly, C., Spielhagen, F., Pereira Da Costa, M., & Hymer, B. (2019). A cross-cultural study of the social experience of giftedness. Roeper Review, 41, 224-242.

Cross, J. R., Frazier, A. D., Kim, M., & Cross, T. L. (2018). A comparison of perceptions of barriers to academic success among high-ability students from high- and low-income groups: Exposing poverty of a different kind. Gifted Child Quarterly, 62, 111-129. 

Cross, T. L., & Cross, J. R. (2018). Suicide among gifted children and adolescents, 2nd ed. Prufrock Press.

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