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: Adolescent Crowds, Peer Relationships, Social Dominance Orientation, Psychology of Gifted Students


Jennifer Riedl Cross, Ph.D. is the director of research at the William & Mary Center for Gifted Education, where she writes grants and coordinates and conducts research. She teaches educational psychology and research methods courses in the school psychology program. Dr. Cross is the co-editor, with Tracy L. Cross, of the Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents. Dr. Cross is a member of the leadership team of the newly created W&M Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students. She and Dr. Tracy L. Cross co-authored a chapter on suicide for the American Psychological Association Handbook of Giftedness and Talent and an article on clinical and mental health issues for a special issue of the Journal for Counseling and Development on gifted individuals.

With her strong interest in social justice, 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" about gifted education in Detroit. She is co-editor, with Drs. Tracy L. Cross and Laurence J. Coleman, of the two-volume compendium Critical Readings on Diversity and Gifted Students. 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.

As a social psychologist, Dr. Cross has studied peer relationships, with a particular focus on adolescent crowds. This interest came about through her research on the development of a social dominance orientation, an individual's preference for hierarchical or egalitarian intergroup relations. Her research in the field of gifted education emphasizes its social aspects, from individual coping with the stigma of giftedness to attitudes toward giftedness and gifted education.

Dr. Cross is presently Chair of the Conceptual Foundations Network of the National Association for Gifted Children and 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

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.). (2012). Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Cross, J. R., Bugaj, S. J., & Mammadov, S. (2016). Accepting a scholarly identity: Gifted students, academic crowd membership, and identification with school. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 39, 23-48. DOI: 10.1177/0162353215624162

Cross, J. R., & Cross, T. L. (2015). Clinical and mental health issues in counseling the gifted individual. Journal of Counseling & Development, 93, 163-172.

Cross, J. R. (2013). Gifted education as a vehicle for enhancing social equality. Roeper Review, 35, 115-123.

Cross, J. R., & Fletcher, K. L. (2010). Associations of parental and peer characteristics with adolescents' social dominance orientation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 40, 694-706. doi: 10.1007/s10964-010-9585-7

Cross, J. R., & Fletcher, K. L. (2009). The challenge of adolescent crowd research: Defining the crowd. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(6), 747-764. doi: 10.1007/s10964-008-9307-6