Designing a smart city together


How can we make clever use of new technologies to improve quality of life in cities? The answer is in the NL Smart City Strategy, which our prime minister Mark Rutte officially received on January 25th. Three professors from Leiden University - Carolien Rieffe, Joost Kok and Wessel Kraaij - gave advice.

You can read the complete news item here (in Dutch) or here (in English)



PhD Thesis Successfully Defended

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On 12 January, Jorien van Hoorn successfully defended her thesis titled "Hanging out with the right crowd: Behavioral and neuroimaging studies of peer influence on decision-making in adolescence," which was supervised by Prof. Evelien Crone, Prof. Erik van Dijk, and Prof. Carolien Rieffe.

Adolescents influence each other in decision making. This may not just lead to risk-taking behaviors but also more pro-social behaviors. It is important to acknowledge both the negative and positive effects of peer pressure, says Jorien. Furthermore, adolescents with autism are also influenced by the opinions of peers. In a division game, Jorien found that adolescents with autism were influenced by their peers to the same extent as those without autism. 

You can read more about her research here (in Dutch) or here (in English).


Talk on Free Play at Kennis Café

KennisCafe play 2016

Children use a substantial part of the day to play. Play is not only fun, but also important for children’s development in many ways. On December 12, Carolien was a guest at the ‘Kennis café’ in the Balie in Amsterdam, an event organized monthly in collaboration with KNAW, the Volkskrant, and science museum NEMO. After an opening in which a columnist expressed his antipathy for playing, the discussion with the four invited guests concentrated on the importance of play, the role of the toy industry on gender stereotyping, gaming, and new developments in play research.

The evening can be followed (in Dutch) through this link.




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.






Data collection completed

What are the longitudinal effects of a Developmental Language Disorder (the new consensus name for Language Impairment) on social-emotional functioning of children and adolescents? And when are children with DLD vulnerable for the development of psychopathology? A total of 152 children with DLD or a combined diagnosis of DLD and Autism Spectrum Disorder were followed up in their social-emotional development over the course of 2.5 years. Finally, all data are collected and we can make a start to answer these important questions.

Pre-university course on emotions

LAPP Top Naqi

The LAPP-Top pre-university course started at the end of January. The top students from high schools receive lectures on typical and atypical emotional development during the 6-week course. We are happy to provoke some thoughts in these students and to see them being intesrested in scientific research!

Talk by Rens van de Schoot


Thursday Jan 26th Rens van de Schoot (Utrecht University) visited our lab to talk about Bayesian statistics. An important advantage of Bayesian over the traditional approach is that smaller sample sizes are required, which is very relevant to our work on children in clinical groups. Rens gave an excellent kick start into this new world of possibilities. For anyone interested, check out his website.