Suzanne Segerstrom Headshot

Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD

Suzanne Segerstrom’s research primarily addresses the influence of individual differences in personality, cognition, and emotion on psychological health and physiological functions. She is particularly interested in understanding how aspects of self-regulation, including
personality, behavior, and executive cognitive function, affect well-being and health. She has worked on the questions of how personality factors (e.g., optimism) affect the way that people approach and pursue their goals, what the costs and benefits of goal pursuit are, and especially how acts of self-regulation affect cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, metabolic, and immune functions. She currently has several active studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). One study examines the health consequences of motivation and goal pursuit in older women in a longitudinal “burst” design. Another is a longitudinal study of the effects of self-regulation and especially self-regulatory capacity on psychological and physical health and physiology in older adults. In addition to funding from the NIH, Professor Segerstrom’s work has also been funded by the Norman Cousins Program and Dana Foundation. She has also been awarded the prestigious Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, in recognition of her work on optimism. Dr. Segerstrom is the past president of the American Psychosomatic Society.