NCFR Recognizes Christina J. Cross for Outstanding Family Research


The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is proud to recognize Christina J. Cross, Ph.D., as the 2021 recipient of the Reuben Hill Award, which is given to the author(s) of an outstanding article or book that combines theory and methodology to analyze and interpret a significant family issue. Her article, “Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Association Between Family Structure and Children's Education,” was published in the April 2020 issue of Journal of Marriage and Family.

Dr. Cross is a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor of sociology at Harvard University (beginning 2022). Her research falls at the intersection of families, race/ethnicity, demography, and social inequality. She examines how family structure, change, and dynamics influence individuals’ life chances, particularly among minoritized and/or low-income populations. Her award-winning scholarship has appeared in outlets such as Social Problems, Demography, and the Journal of Marriage and Family. Her work has been supported by organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Cross holds a PhD in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan. She and her partner, Mel, live in the Greater Boston area, where they enjoy running, biking, hiking, and trying out new cooking recipes.

The award is given in memory of Reuben Hill, who had a distinguished career as a university professor and pioneered the scholarly study of family. Dr. Hill is remembered for his determination to promote high-quality research and advance theory about families with the intent of producing practical benefits for families.

Dr. Cross was recognized for her achievement during the Awards Ceremony at the 2021 NCFR Annual Conference. Watch the video above to learn more about Dr. Cross and this award. 

The National Council on Family Relations is the premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. NCFR has a membership of nearly 3,000 family researchers, practitioners and educators. For more information on the National Council on Family Relations or its scholarly publications, visit the NCFR website at