Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Tish Smyer


Twins enter life as a pair and are often viewed so in later life. After the death of a co-twin, twins feel like they have lost part of themselves, leaving them alone, often without professional help. No nursing research has provided insight into the experience of a twin who has lost their co-twin. The purpose of this research was to explore and describe the lived experience of a twin who has lost their co-twin. The aim was to generate an understanding of the unique bond and sense of loss experienced by twinless twins. Phenomenology and Attachment Theory were utilized to guide this study. Colaizzi’s seven step method was used to analyze the data. This study of nine subjects identified three themes and nine sub-themes. This awareness will be beneficial for parents of twins, twins themselves and health care providers. This research contributes to existing literature on twin loss.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Twins -- Psychology
Attachment behavior
Bereavement -- Psychological aspects
Loss (Psychology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted