Dr. C. Rebecca Oldham

Assistant Professor (Human Sciences)

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

Degree Information

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

Areas of Expertise

  • Gender-based violence
  • Sexual violence and coercion
  • Prevention and intervention program development and evaluation
  • Sexual behavior in romantic relationships
  • Romantic relationship development
  • 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 also 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 Campus Community Response Team, Engaging Men Committee
  • Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence State Action Plan Leadership Team
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • International Association of Relationship Research

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Publications

Published Peer-Reviewed/Refereed 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., ...

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Published Peer-Reviewed/Refereed 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. (in press). 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

Published Encyclopedia 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.

Other Published Contributions

Oldham, C. R., & Niehuis, S. (2016). Love between the covers. Relationship Research News, 15(2), 19-21. [Movie review]

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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).

Oldham, C. R. <...>

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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

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). Doctor...

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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). Pursuit of Excellence Award Nominee, Raiders Who Rock, 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. (2017). Unsung Hero Award Nominee, Raiders Who Rock, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Oldham, C. R. (2016). October Graduate Student of the Month, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Oldham, C. R. (2016). Helen DeVitt Jones Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, Award $500, 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 at MTSU and Motlow State Community College.

Dr. Oldham is currently accepting applications for lab research assistants for the Spring 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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Special Projects

Research Mentorship

Since 2013, I have mentored nearly two dozen undergraduate researchers as project manager in Dr. Sylvia Niehuis's SMITTEN Lab. Undergraduate student researchers were trained in participant recruitment, research ethics, various methods of data collection (e.g., interviewing, survey administration, experiments, fMRI data collection), data management (e.g., SPSS data entry, codebook management...

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Research Mentorship

Since 2013, I have mentored nearly two dozen undergraduate researchers as project manager in Dr. Sylvia Niehuis's SMITTEN Lab. Undergraduate student researchers were trained in participant recruitment, research ethics, various methods of data collection (e.g., interviewing, survey administration, experiments, fMRI data collection), data management (e.g., SPSS data entry, codebook management, lab file management), and data analysis. Students were assisted in applying for and acquiring project and travel funding to present results at local, state, and national conferences. Several students won awards for outstanding research. I have also mentored students in applying (and being accepted) to NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates and to graduate schools. I'm proud that my mentees have gone on to diverse career paths including, couples and family therapy, counseling, clinical psychology, medicine, physician assistant, nursing, social psychology, social work, and more.

I am always interested in taking on new undergraduate mentees who have an interest in social science research, romantic relationships, sexuality, or graduate school!

Dr. Oldham is currently accepting applications for lab research assistants for the Spring 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 4140: Violence in the Family

CDFS 4790: Family Life Program Development and Evaluation

CDFS 3330: Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships

CDFS 4710: Family-Centered Community Building I