European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has now published our study on moral emotions in young children with cochlear implants (CI).
Moral emotions such as shame or guilt alert us that we have done something wrong. The expression of these emotions signals to others that you feel bad about your mishap and want to make up. But they also signal that you now understand these rules, and won’t do it again. In other words, this is how children learn how to behave socially. The outcomes of our study showed that young children with CI expressed less moral emotions than hearing peers. Presumably, children with a CI less easily pick up important norms and rules from their social environment. As a consequence, they are less aware of when they have violated these norms and thus should feel ashamed or guilty. Moreover, moral emotions were unrelated to social functioning in children with CI at this young age