Dr. Jill L. Adelson


Research Scientist

Download her CV (PDF)

Research focus

In her research program addressing giftedness and talent development, Dr. Adelson has examined populations spanning from prekindergarten to college with a focus on both academic and social-emotional outcomes. She studies gifted programming and curricula for academically talented students, and her research has contributed to the field’s understanding of talent development in mathematics. As a gifted education researcher, she conducts methodologically rigorous research to help move the field forward, to inform practice and benefit schools, and to improve educational equity, excellence, and engagement for students of all backgrounds.

Additionally, she serves as a translational methodologist, bridging the gap between advanced methods and applied research through collaborations with researchers outside the education field and through methodological dissemination. Dr. Adelson presents to researchers, administrators, teachers, parents, and graduate students, bringing her lens as a former elementary school teacher, as a parent, and as a researcher. Her contributions in conducting and reporting research and her leadership and service in the field of gifted education has been recognized by the National Association for Gifted Children’s Early Scholar and Early Leader Awards. She is coeditor of Gifted Child Quarterly.


  • PhD, Educational Psychology (gifted education; measurement, evaluation, and assessment), University of Connecticut
  • Masters of Arts, Curriculum and Instruction (gifted education), The College of William and Mary
  • Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education, Transylvania University



Johnson, D., Mason, M., & Adelson, J. L. (2013). Polygons galore! A mathematics unit for high-ability learners in grades 3-5. Waco, TX:  Prufrock Press.

Adelson, J. L., & Wilson, H. E. (2009). Letting go of perfect: Overcoming perfectionism in kids. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Select Journal Articles

Little, C., Adelson, J. L., Kearney, K., Cash, K. M., & O’Brien, R. (2018). Early opportunities to strengthen academic readiness: Effects of summer learning on mathematics achievement. Gifted Child Quarterly, 62, 83-95. doi:10.1177/0016986217738052

Robinson, A. Adelson, J. L., Kidd, K., & Cunningham, C. M. (2018). A talent for tinkering: Developing talents in children from low-income households through engineering curriculum. Gifted Child Quarterly, 62, 130-144. doi:10.1177/0016986217738049 [Pyryt Collaboration Award; Mensa Award for Excellence in Research]

Snyder, K. E., & Adelson, J. L. (2017). The development and validation of the Perceived Academic Underachievement Scale. Journal of Experimental Education, 85, 614-628. doi:10.1080/00220973.2016.1268087

Adelson, J. L., Dickinson, E. R., & Cunningham, B. C. (2016). A multigrade, multiyear statewide examination of reading achievement: Examining variability between districts, schools, and students. Educational Researcher, 45, 258-262. doi:10.3102/0013189X16649960

Adelson, J. L., Dickinson, E. R., & Cunningham, B. C. (2015). Differences in the reading-mathematics relationship: A multi-grade, multi-year statewide examination. Learning and Individual Differences, 43, 118-123. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2015.08.006

Niehaus, K., & Adelson, J. L. (2014). School support, parental involvement, and academic and social-emotional outcomes for English Language Learners. American Educational Research Journal, 51, 810-844. doi:10.3102/0002831214531323

Gavin, M. K., Casa, T. M., Adelson, J. L., & Firmender, J. (2013). The impact of advanced geometry and measurement units on the achievement of Grade 2 students. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44, 478-509. doi:10.5951/jresematheduc.44.3.0478

Niehaus, K., & Adelson, J. L. (2013). Self-concept and native language background: A study of measurement invariance and cross-group comparisons in third grade. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 226-240. doi:10.1037/a0030556

Adelson, J. L., McCoach, D. B., & Gavin, M. K. (2012). Examining the effects of gifted programming in mathematics and reading using the ECLS-K. Gifted Child Quarterly, 56, 25-39. doi:10.1177/0016986211431487 [GCQ Paper of the Year]

Adelson, J. L., & Carpenter, B. D. (2011). Grouping for achievement gains: For whom does achievement grouping increase kindergarten reading growth? Gifted Child Quarterly, 55, 265-278. doi:10.1177/0016986211417306

Adelson, J. L., & McCoach, D. B. (2011). Development and psychometric properties of the Math and Me Survey: Measuring third through sixth graders’ attitudes towards mathematics. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 44, 225-247. doi:10.1177/0748175611418522

Gavin, M. K., Casa, T. M., Adelson, J. L., Carroll, S. R., & Sheffield, L. J. (2009). The impact of advanced curriculum on the achievement of mathematically promising elementary students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53, 188-202. doi:10.1177/0016986209334964 [GCQ Paper of the Year]