Odum's research interests include sociology of reproduction and structures of inequality, more specifically exploring reproductive health disparities among poor women and women of color, and motherhood. Her graduate research explored racial differences in reasons why women have abortions, use contraception, and their access to care. She is primarily a qualitative researcher, has been published in The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism and has presented at numerous conferences related to her field. Odum has strong connections to the Cincinnati area and has worked as a community advocate, which includes sitting on local community boards, church affiliations, and women's advocacy groups.
Focuses on the implications of race and racism for family functioning and family formation.
Seeks to understand why and how black women decide to become mothers (or not) and how, more generally, they make sense of their reproductive journeys. Argues that the decisions women make in terms of motherhood and the societal influences they interact with must be examined and understood in the light of the constellations of constraints, opportunities, and experiences that their particular social locations provide. Argues that understanding reproductive agency for African American women can help us better understand how differently situated women think about and practice motherhood.