New Ways, New Gains

February 13, 2018

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Thanks to innovations in sensing technology, we can now observe social behaviours in an unobtrusive manner. In a "playground" study conducted in Portugal by Guida Veiga (University of Évora), wearable sensors based on radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) recorded peer interactions of preschool children. The interactions were linked to social and emotional competence of children. On 8 February, Carolien Rieffe, Matthijs van Leeuwen (the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science and the Leiden Centre of Data Science) as well as Master students Daniela Gawehns and Tamara Lorenz met to discuss the key information gained from the innovative sensors. Click here to read more.


First Asian PhD Workshop Held at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science 

December 21, 2017

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The Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Science held its first Asian PhD Workshop “Your PhD and Beyond: Strategies for Surviving and Thriving” on Thursday 14 December. Organized by Naqi, Nadia Mansouri from the POPcorner, and Carolien, this workshop aimed to function as a platform for networking and inter-collegial support among PhD students from different parts of Asia. You can read more about the day here.


Adolescents who feel heard are less angry in online games

November 27, 2017

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Online games are very often played with strangers. How do young people react when a conflict arises in such a situation? In order to answer this question, Carolien and Sheida conducted an experiment in which adolescents played an online game, supposedly with an unknown peer. They found that young people with a strong sense of cohesion - a sense of control over the social environment around them - reacted less angrily to those who irritated them. Their findings have been published (Open Access) in Infant and Child Development. You can read more about the research from Leiden University News here (in English) or here (in Dutch). 



Who are we?

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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.






Teaching white lies

March 7, 2018

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How can parents teach children with autism about the social function of white lies? In a recent interview with the newspaper Trouw, Carolien explains that you can switch focus to avoid saying something harmful. Yet, understanding when something can be harmful does not come automatically to children with autism. You can read the article here.

Paper in press

November 10, 2017

children play

Playground dynamics is traditionally studied based on parents and teachers’ observations. Carolien and Guida Veiga (University of Évora, Portugal), however, wanted to obtain a more accurate perspective on children’s behaviours.

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Social and emotional aspects of hearing loss

October 20, 2017


Having a hearing loss does not only affect one’s auditory and language ability. On 13 October, Carolien was invited to give a presentation at the conference “Social and Emotional Aspects of Hearing Loss,” organized by Prof. dr. Beverly Wright of the Knowles Hearing Center at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.

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