College of Education and Public Policy

Assistant Professor Benjamin Houltberg

Photo of Benjamin Houltberg, Ph.D.Benjamin Houltberg, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

  • Office: Neff Hall, 250M
  • Phone: 260-481-5492
  • Fax: 260-481-5408
  • E-mail:


  • Oklahoma State University Ph.D., 2010, Human Development and Family Science
  • Oral Roberts University M.A., 2003, Marriage and Family Therapy Emphasis
  • Oral Roberts University B.A., 2001

Research Interests

Dr. Houltberg’s research focus is on understanding the socialization factors across interacting systems (contextual, family, individual) that shape emotion regulation processes and mental health. In addition, a goal of his work is to promote resilience through research based approaches aimed at enhancing protective processes of youth and elite athletes to overcome risks. Recently, he has focused on emotional health of elite athletes in high pressure contexts. This research has led to national and international research presentations and service. He is actively involved in the Sports Chaplaincy Program to International Sporting Events and served as a chaplain to the 2009 World Track and Field Championships in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Houltberg also presented his research at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport in Glasgow, United Kingdom in conjunction with the 2012 Olympic Games. Dr. Houltberg continues to work with coaches and athletes from around the world to promote emotional health in dealing with pressures to perform.

Selected Publications

Houltberg, B. J., Henry, C. S., & Morris, A. S. (2012). Family interactions, exposure to violence, and emotion regulation: Perceptions of children and early adolescents at-risk. Family Relations, 61, ­283-296.

Houltberg, B. J., Henry, C. S., Merten, M. J., & Robinson, L. C. (2011). Intrinsic religiosity, family cohesion, parental support, and adolescent depressed mood. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20, 111-119.

Morris, A. S., Eisenberg, N., & Houltberg, B. J. (2011). Adolescent Moral Development. In B. Brown & M. Prinstein (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence (pp. 48-55). San Diego: Academic Press.

Plunkett, S. W., Henry, C. S., Houltberg, B. J., Sands, T., & Abarca, S. (2008). Academic support by significant others and educational resilience in Mexican origin ninth grade students from intact families. Journal of Early Adolescence, 28, 333-355.

Selected Presentations

Houltberg, B. J., & Null, J. A. (July 2012).  Exploring self-concept of elite athletes: Beyond sport's psychology to a spiritual and developmental model. A paper presented at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport, Glasgow, UK.

Houltberg, B.J., Criss, M. M., Morris, A. S., & Bolser, C. (July, 2012). Link between Peer Relationships and Adolescent Adjustment: Analysis of Emotion Regulation as a Mediator. A paper presented at the 7th International Conference on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, London, UK.

Houltberg, B. J. (October, 2012). Promoting identity development beyond athletic performance. Presentation at the 3rd annual Retreat for Elite Coaches and Athletes in San Antonio, TX.

Houltberg, B. J. (April, 2010) Pressure to Perform: Spirituality in Sport. Presentation at Sports de Foi Conference in Paris, France.

Professional Organizations

  • Society for Research on Adolescence
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • Society of Research on Child Development
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy