Dr. Nancy Segal, Psychology


Ph.D., University of Chicago
Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Minnesota

Research Areas

Twin research is supported and encouraged by my Twin Studies Center. Twins are a simple and elegant way to study genetic and environmental influences on behavioral and physical traits. Twins also undergo unique psychological development and are of interest in that respect.

The CSUF Twin Studies Center supports behavioral research on the following projects: twin loss, twin relationships, Chinese twins reared apart, Chinese twins reared together and virtual twins. Virtual twins are same-age unrelated children raised together in the same family. They are valuable research subjects because they furnish direct estimates of genetic influence on measured traits.

New projects targeted for the next few years include twin studies of loss and bereavement, creativity and social relationships.


  1. Segal, N.L., & Blozis, S.A. (2002). Psychobiological and evolutionary perspectives on coping and health characteristics following loss: A twin study. Twin Research, 5, 175-187.
  2. Segal, N.L. (2009). Twin loss: The annual convention. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12, 519-522.
  3. Segal, N.L. (2009). Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in surviving MZ and DZ co twins. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 39, 569-575.
  4. Segal, N.L. (2010). Twins: The finest natural experiment. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 317-323.
  5. Segal, N.L., Stohs, J.H., & Evans, K. Chinese twin children reared apart and reunited: First prospective study of co-twin reunions.Adoption Quarterly (in press).

Grants & Special Projects

  • Dr. Segal:

    • 2008 Award for Social Responsibility Western Psychological Association
    • 2007 Award for Excellence in Research Mensa Foundation
    • 2007 Faculty Award for Scholarship and Creativity CSU Fullerton
    • 2007 Academic Community Honor CSU Fullerton and American Library Association
    • 2006 International Making a Difference Award Multiple Births Canada
    • 2006 Honoree: Book Launch
      California State University, Fullerton
    • 2005 James Shields Award for Lifetime Contributions to Twin Research
      Behavior Genetics Association and International Society for Twin Studies
    • 2005 Outstanding Professor of the Year
      California State University, Fullerton

    Student Awards:

    • 2006 Kevin Chavarria, Faculty-Student research/creative activity grant, FDC
    • 2008 Vanessa Harris, Faculty-Student research/creative activity grant, FDC