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Paper Published: Empathy in Toddlers with Moderate Hearing Loss


Our latest findings on empathy in toddlers with moderate hearing loss have recently been published by the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education! The study was done by Evelien Dirks, Lizet Ketelaar, Rosanne van der Zee, Anouk Netten, Johan Frijns, and Carolien, and was a collaboration between our lab at Leiden University, the University Hospital (LUMC), and Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK). 

The results show that toddlers with moderate hearing loss and with hearing have similar levels of affective empathy, yet toddlers with moderate hearing loss lag behind on some precursors of cognitive empathy, such as intention understanding and joint attention. It suggests that toddlers with moderate hearing loss are at risk for problems in their empathy development. Although they are aware of other people's emotions, they show a delayed development of more complex skills required for an adequate empathic response in comparison with their hearing peers.