Research and Theory Section Update

Kayley Davis McMahan, Ph.D., Communications Specialist
/ NCFR Report, Winter 2021
Christina Cross
Christina Cross

Dr. Christina Cross receives the Reuben Hill Award

It is with great pleasure that we announce Dr. Christina J. Cross as the winner of the 2021 Reuben Hill Award for Best Research Article, sponsored by NCFR’s Research and Theory Section. The award is given in memory of Dr. Reuben Hill and is presented to the author(s) of the best research article for the year prior to the award. It is given in recognition of an outstanding article, book, or monograph that combines theory and methodology in the analysis and interpretation of a significant family issue.

Dr. Cross’s award-winning paper, “Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Association Between Family Structure and Children’s Education,” addresses an important topic in the literature on family structure and children’s life chances. She investigates why living apart from a biological parent is less negatively consequential for racial/ethnic minority children’s academic success than it is for their White peers. She finds that the negative effect of parental absence from the home is less impactful for racial/ethnic groups already facing many socioeconomic disadvantages. In this, Dr. Cross challenges contemporary research and policy discourse about the centrality of the two-biological-parent family in reducing racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being. Dr. Cross is an incoming assistant professor of sociology at Harvard University. She and her partner, Mel, live in Greater Boston, where they enjoy running, biking, hiking, and trying out new cooking recipes.