Lapp-Top Ceremony

LappTop all April2017

On 20 April, the ending ceremony of the Lapp-Top program was held in Pieterskerk. The high-school students were divided into groups and gave very impressive presentations on what they learned from the course. Boya, as the coordinator of the course, was there with the students. We are happy to see that the course was thought-provoking and that they showed the concerns for social-emotional development. 


Congratulations, Dr. Anouk!

Anouk promotion3 April2017

On 12 April, Anouk Netten successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “The Link Between Hearing Loss, Language, and Social Functioning in Childhood,” which was supervised by Prof. dr. ir. Johan Frijns, Prof. Dr. Carolien Rieffe, and Dr. ir. Wim Soede. Her project focused on the effects of early intervention of hearing loss on the social-emotional development of children in the Netherlands and Belgium. Her thesis shows that in order to stimulate the social-emotional development of deaf and hard-of-hearing children, their opportunities for incidental learning have to be increased. For more information about Anouk's thesis, please click here. For a list of publications of Anouk, please click here.


Presentations in Rotterdam and Vienna

conferences March2017

Focus on Emotions lab has been busy these days! Sharing and discussing findings and insights to a broader audience of academics and professionals is important for research. On 24 March 2017, Boya, Anne, Danique, and Tamara presented their studies on autism at National Autism Congress in Rotterdam. Boya and Tamara shared their findings on the development of internalizing and externalizing behaviors in autistic boys, while Anne and Danique talked about empathy in autistic girls.

Meanwhile, Carolien and Sheida were in Vienna, Austria, for the biennial International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS).  Carolien presented new behavioral data on adolescents with communicative impairments in two symposiums. Sheida talked about cultural differences in understanding one’s own and others people’s emotions. The talks were well received and generated lively discussions.



Who are we?

Left to right: Naqi Dahamat Azam, Tirza van der Straaten, Neeltje van den Bedem, Thijs Jansen, Anouk Netten, Wendy van Vlerken, Carolien Rieffe, Mariska Kret (Cognitive Psychology), Marieke Bos, Rosemarij van Veen, Yung-Ting Tsou, Evelien Broekhof, Boya Li
Group picture 2016 crop2

Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK), the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), and the Centre for Autism.Our group is dedicated to examining the emotional development of children and adolescents of all walks of life. We have a strong focus on the functionality of emotions, and its impact on children's social development. Besides typically developing children and adolescents, we are interested in the development of those with hearing impairments, with autism spectrum disorders, or with specific language impairments.

On this site we regularly post news items about new publications, events, and so on. You can also read more about our ongoing projects, read about and download questionnaires we have developed, see an overview of our publications per topic, or read about opportunities for students to join our team.






Biking along the tulip fields!

Tulip April2017

The Focus On Emotion team and CoPAN cycled along the tulip fields from Leiden to Lisse today (20 April). Along the 40-kilometer-long cycle path, we were amazed by the flowers in all kinds of color. Enjoy the beautiful sun-lit Spring days, everyone!

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KinderGebaren: a sign language app!

NSDSK App April2017

On 7 April 2017, the KinderGebaren app won the Siméa Innovation Award! The NSDSK (Evelien Dirks as the project leader) developed this sign language app, which includes 200 signs made by and for children. You can download the app for free via Google Play Store and App Store! To learn more about its development, please visit the website of the NSDSK (in Dutch). 

Girls are better at masking autism than boys


Girls with autism have relatively good social skills, which means that their autism is often not recognised. Carolien, Anne, Danique and colleagues from the Autism Centre and INTER-PSY (Groningen) examined how autism manifests itself in girls differently from boys, and reported their findings in Wetenschappelijk Tijdschrift Autisme (in press). To know more about the study, you can read the university news item here (in Dutch) or here (in English).