Dr. C. Rebecca Oldham

Assistant Professor (Child Development & Family Studies | Women's & Gender Studies)

Dr.  C. Rebecca Oldham
(615) 898-2468
Room 103, Ellington Human Sciences Building (EHS)
MTSU Box 86, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Office Hours

You may book a meeting with Dr. Oldham (virtual or in-office) through this website.

Degree Information

  • PHD, Texas Tech University (2019)
  • MS, Texas Tech University (2014)
  • BS, Freed-Hardeman University (2010)

Areas of Expertise

  • Sexual behavior in romantic relationships
  • Romantic relationship development
  • Gender-based violence
  • Sexual violence and coercion
  • Prevention and intervention program development and evaluation
  • Community-based participatory research

Biography

Dr. Oldham earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, from Texas Tech University. 

Broadly, Dr. Oldham's research interests include both normative and coercive sexual behavior in romantic relationships. Her current program of research collaborates with community partners to develop and evaluate evidence-based educational and prevention programming to reduce gender-based violence, partic...

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Dr. Oldham earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, from Texas Tech University. 

Broadly, Dr. Oldham's research interests include both normative and coercive sexual behavior in romantic relationships. Her current program of research collaborates with community partners to develop and evaluate evidence-based educational and prevention programming to reduce gender-based violence, particularly for male-identifying audiences.

She teaches Child Development and Family Studies courses on family violence, Family Life Education program development/evaluation, interpersonal communication, poverty, and race.

She is a member of:

  • MTSU Women's and Gender Studies Affiliate Faculty
  • MTSU Campus Community Response Team, Engaging Men Committee
  • Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence State Action Plan Leadership Team, Focus on Youth Subcommittee
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • North American MenEngage Network
  • International Association of Relationship Research

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Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

*Undergraduate Mentee.

Joel, S., Eastwick, P. W., Allison, C. J., Arriaga, X. B., Baker, Z. G., Bar-Kalifa, E., Bergeron, S., Birnbaum, G., Brock, R. L., Brumbaugh, C. C., Carmichael, C. L., Chen, S., Clarke, J., Cobb, R. J., Coolsen, M. K., Davis, J., de Jong, D. C., Debrot, A., DeHaas, E. C., Derrick, J. L., Eller, J., Estrada, M. J., Faure, R., Finkel, E. J., Fraley, R. C., Gable, S. L., Gadassi, R., Girme, Y. U., Gordo...

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Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

*Undergraduate Mentee.

Joel, S., Eastwick, P. W., Allison, C. J., Arriaga, X. B., Baker, Z. G., Bar-Kalifa, E., Bergeron, S., Birnbaum, G., Brock, R. L., Brumbaugh, C. C., Carmichael, C. L., Chen, S., Clarke, J., Cobb, R. J., Coolsen, M. K., Davis, J., de Jong, D. C., Debrot, A., DeHaas, E. C., Derrick, J. L., Eller, J., Estrada, M. J., Faure, R., Finkel, E. J., Fraley, R. C., Gable, S. L., Gadassi, R., Girme, Y. U., Gordon, A. M., Gosnell, C. L., Hammond, M. D., Hannon, P. A., Harasymchuk, C., Hofmann, W., Horn, A. B., Impett, E. A., Jamieson, J. P., Keltner, D., Kim, J. J., Kirchner, J. L., Klewer, E. S., Kumashiro, M., Larson, G., Lazarus, G., Logan, J. M., Luchies, L. B., MacDonald, G., Machia, L. V., Maniaci, M. R., Maxwell, J. A., Mizrahi, M., Muise, A., Niehuis, S., Ogolsky, B. G., Oldham, C. R., Overall, N. C., Perrez, M., Peters, B. J., Pietromonaco, P. R., Powers, S. I., Prok, T., Pshedetzky-Shochat, R., Rafaeli, E., Ramsdell, E., Reblin, M., Reicherts, M., Reifman, A., Reis, H. T., Rhoades, G. K., Rholes, W. S., Righetti, F., Rodriguez, L. M., Rogge, R., Rosen, N. O., Saxbe, D., Sened, H., Simpson, J. A., Slotter, E. B., Stanley, S. M., Stocker, S., Surra, C., Vaughn, A. A., Vicary, A. M., Visserman, M. L., & Wolf, S. (2020). Machine learning uncovers the most robust self-report predictors of relationship quality across 43 longitudinal couples studies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., Weiser, D., Punyanunt-Carter, N., Flora, J., Arias, V. S., & Oldham, C. R. (2020). Guilty pleasure? Communicating sexually explicit content on dating-apps and disillusionment with app usage. Human Communication Research, 46(1), 55-85. doi:10.1093/hcr/hqz013

Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., & Oldham, C. R. (2019). Effects of relationship transgressions on idealization of and disillusionment with one’s romantic partner: A three-wave longitudinal study. Personal Relationships, 26(3), 466-489. doi: 10.1111/pere.12287

Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., Al-Khalil, K., Oldham, C. R., Fang, D., O'Boyle, M., Davis, T. (2019). fMRI activation in response to prompts of romantically disillusioning events. Personal Relationships, 26(2). doi: 10.1111/pere.12272

*Wood, W. I., Oldham, C. R., Reifman, A., & Niehuis, S. (2017). Accuracy and bias in newlywed spouses’ perceptions of each other’s personalities. Personal Relationships, 24, 886–901. doi: 10.1111/pere.12219

Purcell, J. B. K., Oldham, C. R., Weiser, D., & Sharp, E., (2017). Lights, camera, activism: Using a film series to generate feminist dialogue about campus sexual violence. Family Relations, 66, 139-153. doi: 10.1111/fare.12228

Encylopedia Entries

Oldham, C. R., Lindsey, J., & Niehuis, S. (2017). Doing gender. In K. L. Nadal (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of psychology and gender (pp. 468-469). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. doi: 10.4135/9781483384269.n

Oldham, R., & Niehuis, S. (2014). Hooking up. In M. J. Coleman & L. H. Ganong (Eds.), The social history of the American family: An encyclopedia (Vol. 2, pp. 695-696). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Oldham, R., & Niehuis, S. (2014). PREP Programs. In M. J. Coleman & L. H. Ganong (Eds.), The social history of the American family: An encyclopedia (Vol. 3, pp. 1073-1075). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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Presentations

Paper Presentations

*Undergraduate Mentee.

Oldham, C. R., Fleming, W. M., Hoskins, N., Scales, B., Strattion, T., Allen, D., Hill, K., Bakari, A., & Borchert, J. (2020, November). Men’s engagement in violence prevention: Methods and messaging in the era of #MeToo. Symposium paper to be presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO (virtual due to COVID-19).

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Paper Presentations

*Undergraduate Mentee.

Oldham, C. R., Fleming, W. M., Hoskins, N., Scales, B., Strattion, T., Allen, D., Hill, K., Bakari, A., & Borchert, J. (2020, November). Men’s engagement in violence prevention: Methods and messaging in the era of #MeToo. Symposium paper to be presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO (virtual due to COVID-19).

Oldham, C. R. & Purcell, J. B. K. (2018, November). Critical film analysis as a pedagogical tool for feminist family scholars: Research & theory. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

 Oldham, C. R., Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., & Weiser, D. (2018, July). Relative timing of sex and commitment during courtship: Implications for changes in marital satisfaction over the first two years of marriage. Symposium paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research Biennial Conference, Fort Collins, CO.

Poster Presentations

Oldham, C. R., Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., & Weiser, D. A. (2019, November). A longitudinal study of the timing of first sex in romantic relationships and subsequent relationship quality. Poster to be presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Fort Worth, TX.

Oldham, C.R., Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., & Weiser, D. (2016, November). Predicting the timing of sex in relationships using discriminant analysis. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Oldham, C. R., Yuan, S., Lindsey, J., *Barron, K., *Ginste, K., *Ozpolat, A., Reifman, A., & Niehuis, S. (2015, November). The use of self- versus partner-reports in the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. Poster presented at the annual conference for the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Oldham, C. R., Noriega, I., Baird, H., Niehuis, S., *Wood, W., Ireland, M. (2014, November). Mentoring undergraduate research in the social sciences. Roundtable presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Oldham, C. R.(2014, April). Do Hispanic acculturation and religion predict the relative timing of sex, love, and commitment? Paper presented at the Texas Tech Changing the Face of the Academy: Diversity in Action Conference, Lubbock, TX.

Oldham, C. R., Reifman A., & Niehuis, S. (2013, November). Predictors of sexual tempo: A survival analysis. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.

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Awards

Teaching

Oldham, C. R., Cook, J. C., Weir, S., & Bruce, J. (2021) Embracing Equity through Open Educational Resources (OER) Medium-Scale Conversion, Award $4,000 (May 2021-September 2021), Tennessee Board of Regents, Middle Tennessee State University, Mufreesboro, TN.

Oldham, C. R. & Shealy, A. (2021). Information Literacy Curriculum Integration Grant...

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Teaching

Oldham, C. R., Cook, J. C., Weir, S., & Bruce, J. (2021) Embracing Equity through Open Educational Resources (OER) Medium-Scale Conversion, Award $4,000 (May 2021-September 2021), Tennessee Board of Regents, Middle Tennessee State University, Mufreesboro, TN.

Oldham, C. R. & Shealy, A. (2021). Information Literacy Curriculum Integration Grant, Award $2,000 (June 2021-June 2022), James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Oldham, C. R. (2016). Helen DeVitt Jones Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, Award $500, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Research

Howard, S. & Oldham, C. R. (2021). Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA) Assistant, Award $500 (May 2021-August 2021), Undergraduate Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Mufreesboro, TN.

Young, M. & Oldham, C. R. (2021). Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA) Assistant, Award $500 (May 2021-August 2021), Undergraduate Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Mufreesboro, TN.

Oldham, C. R. (2020). First Place for Outstanding Dissertation Award in Social Sciences, Award $1,500, Graduate School, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Niehuis, S., Weiser, D., Reifman, A., Punyanunt-Carter, N. M., Flora, J., Arias, V. S., & Oldham, C. R. (2019). Top Four Paper Award, Interpersonal Communication Division of the Western States Communication Association.

Oldham, C. R. (2018). Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Award $16,200 (August 2018-May 2019), Graduate School, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Oldham, C. R. (2018). Graduate Student Research Support Award, Award $1,000 (August 2017-May 2018), Office of Parent and Family Relations, Graduate Student Advisory Council, Graduate School, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Oldham, C. R. (2014). Helen DeVitt Jones Fellowship, Award $30,000 (August 2014-May 2017), College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

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Research / Scholarly Activity

Dr. Oldham is currently building partnerships with community members, particularly in Middle Tennessee, who do work in gender-based violence (e.g., sexual assault, intimate partner violence). She encourages any community members who are interested in collaborating with her to call or email.

In collaboration with MTSU's Power of One of Office and Engaging Men Committee, she is the primary investigator on a focus group research project that is studying men's reactions to gender-based vi...

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Dr. Oldham is currently building partnerships with community members, particularly in Middle Tennessee, who do work in gender-based violence (e.g., sexual assault, intimate partner violence). She encourages any community members who are interested in collaborating with her to call or email.

In collaboration with MTSU's Power of One of Office and Engaging Men Committee, she is the primary investigator on a focus group research project that is studying men's reactions to gender-based violence prevention programming and messaging. Our team consists of faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. She is currently accepting applications for lab research assistants for the Fall 2021 semester. If students are interested in working on a focus group project about gender-based violence program messaging, please complete the RA application here.

Dr. Oldham is also publishing out of her dissertation data regarding the development of sexual behaviors within romantic relationships with collaborators and two URECA student researchers.

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In the Media

Joel et al. (2020) News Coverage

Kaur, H. (2020, July 29) A landmark study shows what makes a successful relationship, CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/29/us/what-makes-a-relationship-successful-study-wellness-trnd/index.html

Young, G. (2020, August 24). Researchers contribute to broader understanding of committed relationships, Texas Tech Today. https://today.ttu.edu/posts/2020/08/Stories/researchers-contribute-broader-understanding-committed-relationships

 

Special Projects

Research Mentorship

Since 2013, Dr. Oldham has mentored nearly dozens of undergraduate researchers in her lab at MTSU and as a project manager in Dr. Sylvia Niehuis's SMITTEN Lab at Texas Tech University. She has trained undergraduate student researchers in participant recruitment, research ethics, various methods of data collection (e.g., interviewing, survey administration, experiments, fMRI data collec...

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Research Mentorship

Since 2013, Dr. Oldham has mentored nearly dozens of undergraduate researchers in her lab at MTSU and as a project manager in Dr. Sylvia Niehuis's SMITTEN Lab at Texas Tech University. She has trained undergraduate student researchers in participant recruitment, research ethics, various methods of data collection (e.g., interviewing, survey administration, experiments, fMRI data collection, focus group moderation), data management (e.g., SPSS data entry, codebook management, lab file management), and data analysis (quantitative and qualitative). She has assisted students' acquisition of project and travel funding to present results at local, state, and national conferences. Several students won awards for outstanding research. She has also mentored students admittance to NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates and graduate schools. Her mentees have gone on to diverse career paths including, couples and family therapy, counseling, clinical psychology, medicine, physician assistant, nursing, social psychology, social work, criminal justice, and more. 

Dr. Oldham has also formally and informally mentored graduate students in navigating graduate school, the job market, research projects, and dissertations. She currently serves on two dissertation committees at MTSU about sexual behaviors and attitudes.

In Summer 2021, Dr. Oldham and two undergraduate students will be working on research projects funded by the MTSU URECA program.

Students who have an interest in social science research, romantic relationships, sexuality, or graduate school may contact Dr. Oldham directly or apply to work with her as a research assistant. Dr. Oldham is currently accepting applications for lab research assistants for the Fall 2021 semester. If students are interested in working on a focus group project about gender-based violence program messaging, please complete the RA application here.

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Courses

CDFS 3330: Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships

CDFS 4140: Violence in the Family

CDFS 4710: Social and Economic Contexts of Individuals and Families

CDFS 4790: Family Life Program Development and Evaluation