Emily Cross

Emily’s primary areas of research focus on the intersection between social attitudes and functioning within close, intimate relationships. Sexist attitudes pervade social interactions and play a powerful role in sustaining gender inequality, and intimate relationships potently affect health, wellbeing, and wider social attitudes. Yet, research focusing on sexist attitudes has tended to ignore research examining intimate relationship processes, and research examining relationship processes has overlooked the important role of sexist attitudes.

Emily’s research integrates these two important domains to show that: (a) sexist attitudes have far-reaching effects on relationship functioning, and (b) relationship dynamics are fundamental to understanding women’s endorsement of sexist attitudes. For example, she investigates how hostile sexist attitudes impact aggressive and controlling responses within relationship initiation contexts, in ongoing established relationships, and during familial parent-child interactions. Her research also investigates how benevolent features of sexist attitudes are attractive and buffer relationship insecurities, including attachment insecurities because they provide distinct gender roles that can offer security and protection to those who need it.

Emily adopts diverse methods to capture the interplay between social attitudes and relationship processes as they unfold over the course of social interactions and people’s lives, including behavioural observation, daily diary and experience sampling methods, speed dating paradigms, and longitudinal designs to assess interpersonal processes as they naturally occur and influence people’s wellbeing and attitudes across time. These sophisticated methods are complemented by complex statistical techniques, such as multi-level and dyadic modelling.

Emily completed her PhD in the REACH lab in 2018, and is now working as a lecturer at the University of Essex.

Email: e.cross@essex.ac.uk

Google Scholar | University Directory | Twitter | Research Gate


Example Journal Articles

McRae, C.S., Overall, N.C., Henderson, A.M.E., Low, R.S.T., & Cross, E.J. (online advance). Conflict-Coparenting Spillover: The role of actors’ and partners’ attachment insecurity and gender. Journal of Family Psychologydoi.org/10.1037/fam0000884

Overall, N.C., Chang, V.T., Cross, E.J., Low, R.S.T., & Henderson, A.M.E. (online advance). Sexist attitudes predict family-based aggression during a COVID-19 lockdown. Journal of Family Psychologydoi.org/10.1037/fam0000834

Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C., Jayamaha, S.D., & Sibley, C.G. (2021). Does low self-esteem predict lower wellbeing following relationship dissolution? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38, 2184-2204doi.org/10.1177/02654075211005843

Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C., Low, R.S.T., & Henderson, A.M.E. (in press). Relationship problems, agreement and bias in perceptions of partners’ parental responsiveness, and family functioning. Journal of Family Psychology.

Harrington, A.G., Overall, N.C., & Cross, E.J. (2021). Masculine gender role stress, low relationship power, and aggression toward intimate partners. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 22, 48-62. doi.org/10.1037/men0000262

Hammond, M.D., Cross, E.J., & Overall, N.C. (2020). Sexist attitudes and intimate relationships: Relationship (in)security is central to the sources and outcomes of sexism. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 14, e12522. doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12522

Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C., Low, R.S.T., & McNulty, J.K. (2019). Men’s hostile sexism, biased perceptions of low power, and aggression toward intimate partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 117, 338-363. doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000167

Cross, E.J., & Overall, N.C. (2019. Women experience more serious relationship problems when male partners endorse hostile sexism. European Journal of Social Psychology, 49, 1022-1041. doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2560

Low, R.S.T., Overall, N.C., Cross, E.J., & Henderson, A.M.E. (online advance). Emotion regulation, conflict resolution, and spillover on subsequent family functioning. Emotiondoi.org/10.1037/emo0000519

Cross, E.J., & Overall, N.C. (2018). Women’s Attraction to Benevolent Sexism: Needing Relationship Security Predicts Greater Attraction to Men who Endorse Benevolent Sexism. European Journal of Social Psychology. doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2334

Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C., Hammond, M.D., & Fletcher, G.J.O. (2017). When does Men’s Hostile Sexism Predict Relationship Aggression? The Moderating Role of Partner Commitment. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8, 331-340. doi.org/10.1177/1948550616672000

Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C. & Hammond, M.D. (2016). Perceiving Partners to Endorse Benevolent Sexism Attenuates Highly Anxious Women’s Negative Reactions to Conflict. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 923-940. doi.org/10.1177/0146167216647933

Hammond, M.D., Overall, N.C. & Cross, E.J. (2016). Internalizing sexism within close relationships: Perceptions of intimate partners’ benevolent sexism promote women’s endorsement of benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 214-238. doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000043