Jennifer Riedl Cross, Ph.D.

Jennifer Riedl Cross, Ph.D.

Jennifer Riedl Cross, Ph.D., is Director of Research at the William & Mary Center for Gifted Education. Dr. Cross is a member of the leadership team of the W&M Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students. She is active in suicide prevention efforts on the campus of William & Mary, coleading the Suicide Prevention Coalition and the campus-wide Campus Connect gatekeeper training program. She and Dr. Tracy L. Cross coauthored the second edition of the book Suicide Among Gifted Children and Adolescents and an article on clinical and mental health issues for a special issue of the Journal for Counseling and Development on gifted individuals. The first edition of the Handbook for Counselors Serving Students With Gifts and Talents, coedited by the Drs. Cross, received the 2012 Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Legacy Book Award in the Scholar category. 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 passion for social justice has led to research on high-ability students from low-income backgrounds and the barriers to their education. Dr. Cross guest edited, with Dr. James Borland, a special issue of the Roeper Review on gifted education and social inequality. 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’s cross-cultural research on the social experience of gifted students has implications for counselors, parents, and educators who wish to support students’ positive psychosocial development.