Wendy van Vlerken

Wendy van Vlerken

Wendy joined our lab to gain more research experience when she was a first year research master student and worked as a student assistant leading the DECIBEL-project.  


Rosemarij van Veen 1

Rosemarij van Veen

Rosemarij was a research master student. She did her Honours Research Bachelor Poject on the relation between theory of mind and executive functioning and the influence of parent-child interaction on the development of theory of mind in infants under supervision of Lizet Ketelaar. Rosemarij worked as a student assistant, helping out with various tasks within our lab.  


Vassia Sarantopoulou, MScvassia

Vassia holds a Master degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology from Leiden University. She also has a Master in Career Counseling and she has worked on helping adolescents with their academic and career choices. She has done her research internship with Carolien Rieffe and at the same time she has worked on Fairness and Empathy on deaf children during her Master Thesis.



Rita Gerkema

Rita is working as a communication-specialist and trainings-developer at Royal Kentalis. She also studies psychology in part-time. She worked in our lab as a research assistant in the research on the social-emotional development of children with Specific Language Impairment. She tested children and helped translating the research findings for practical uses.


Lizet Ketelaar, PhDLizet Ketelaar

Thesis defended 12 June 2014

Lizet's research interest concerns the social-emotional development of the youngest group of deaf and hard-of-hearing children, she obtained her PhD at our department in close collaboration with the LUMC and the NSDSK. She currently holds a position as a senior researcher at the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK) in Amsterdam.


Janneke de RuiterJanneke de Ruiter2

After finishing het Research Master at the Focus on Emtions lab, Janneke worked as a research assistent and collected data for several of our research projects. She currently holds a position as a PhD-student at the University of Amsterdam, where she examines teachers' daily emotional processes in response to disruptive students.

Stephanie Theunissen, MD, PhD


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Thesis defended 10 December 2013

Stephanie is following a training programme at the Leiden University Medical Centre, in order to become an ENT specialist. She is interested in the older group (9- to 16-year-olds) of deaf and hard of hearing children, especially those wearing a cochlear implant. Stephanie completed her PhD within our group.


Karin Wiefferink, PhD

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Thesis defended 13 September 2012


Karin Wiefferink works as senior researcher at the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child. She is involved in studies on language development and in studies on social-emotional development of deaf and hard of hearing children. Karin has just finished writing her dissertation on the development of children with cochlear implants, under supervision of Carolien Rieffe and Johan Frijns.

"Most children with CI have a better language development than children without a CI. It can be expected that a better language development has a positive influence on social-emotional development."

Kim Davitt


Kim is from Dublin, Ireland. She graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Kim worked as an Applied Behaviour Analysis Tutor in Ireland, mainly working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Socio-Emotional problems. She obtained her mastersdegree under the supervision of Carolien by examining Emotion Recognition in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kim currently holds a position as a counselor/psychologist in Essen, Germany.


Gudrun EiseleGudrun

Gudrun Eisele is from Germany. In our group, she completed her honours research bachelor project to examine the effectiveness of a new intervention method for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, in collaboration with the Centre for Autism.

Sabrina Costa LaquaSabrina

Sabrina is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. She graduated as a psychology major in 2005 from the Methodist University of Sao Paulo. Her interest in psychology dates back to high school. She used to work in a psychological clinic and she did her master in Child and Adolescent and her research internship with Carolien's research group. 


Hannah Elena Vreeburg & Luuk van Duurenhannah luuk

High school students, Hannah and Luuk, participated in a research in our lab, experimentally manipulate emotion regulation in children, as a part of their Pre-University curriculum. Marieke and Carolien supervised these highly motivated students.


Rosanne Waterhoutrosanne

Rosanne Waterhout was a student in the master Child and Adolescent Psychology. Within our lab, Rosanne wrote her Master thesis about the influence of the Anne Frank House on children's emotional development and empathic understanding. 


Rina Ghafoerkhan, MSc.Rina

Rina completed her research master in Developmental Psychology at Leiden University. After that she worked in several conflict areas with children and adults psychologically affected by war and trauma. She assisted the lab by facilitating discussion groups for bachelor students and supervising Master thesis students. Soon she will be working at Equator Foundation (Amsterdam) as a trauma therapist and researcher with asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking  

Iris Mulderiris mulder

Iris completed the Master in Child and Adolescent Psychology in 2009, writing her master thesis on emotional awareness in children with ASD. After 3 years of working with children and adults, experiencing different kinds of problems (e.g. developmental disorders, mental handicap, addictions), she realised she missed practising research. At the moment she is working as a research assistant and supervising master thesis students.


Linsey Schoneveld linsey

Linsey completed her bachelor in Educational and Child studies. She desired more practical experience and decided to do a master in Child and Adolescent psychology. She will assist on the Anne Frank project and write her thesis on the influence of the Anne Frank museum on children's emotion experience.


Jessie van den Broek, MPhiljessie

Jessie was our web editor. After completing an MPhil in Linguistics, she decided to write about scientific research rather than practice it. She now works as a journalist/editor and is specialized in communicating science to the general public.

Roxanne Markusroxanne

Roxanne is our second web editor. Besides Media and Culture she is also studying Business and Economics at the University of Amsterdam. She is specialized in New Media and is currently working as an intern at Leiden University.


Ivet Pieper, Drs. ivet2

Ivet coordinates the realization of an instrument for screening and advising on children and youth with a CI (cochlear implant) and/or with autism, in a collaborative project of Leiden University, KNO (LUMC), Centrum Autisme and  NSDSK. After having studied human geography of developing countries, Ivet has specialized in child and youth participation within policy, practice and research.

Annemijn Tops & Elsemiek Smilde Annemijn Tops Elsemiek Smilde

Annemijn and Elsemiek are two enthusiastic high-school students from Amsterdam, participating in the Pre-University College at Leiden University. In their research project on emotion induction in our Emotion Lab, they examine emotion arousal by means of self report and physiology in school-aged children.

Kirsten Wolthuis Kirsten

Kirsten holds a Master in Educational Sciences. She worked in our lab from April until December 2013 with a large interest in the communication and language development of atypically developing children. She assisted in the participatory video project for deaf children and in testing children for Lizet Ketelaar's research.

Sofia Diamantopoulou, PhDSofia Diamantopoulou bijgesneden

Sofia was a postdoctoral researcher in the Emotional Development lab in 2013. Being an expert on longitudinal data anlysis, she analysed social and emotional development over time in children with and without ASD or hearing impairments.


Mara van der Meulen, BScMaraVdMeulen.jpg

Mara worked in our lab as a KNAW research assistant and student assistant in 2012 and 2013, doing research on the social-emotional development of children with a cochlear implant and children with ASD. 

Eva Schmitz, MSceva

Eva completed her research master in Developmental Psychology at Leiden University in 2012, under supervision of Carolien Rieffe. She is interested in the development of children with ASD, which she wrote her Master thesis on. After graduating, she assisted the lab in 2013 by supervising Bachelor students.


Kiki Bruidegom, BSckiki

Kiki worked in our lab as a KNAW research assistent. She is now doing a master in Clinical Psychology. 



Sigrid Kok, MAsigrid

Sigrid worked in our lab between 2009 and 2012. During this period she has been a tremendous asset, organising all of the data collection for the younger children with ASD. In the meantime, she also obtained her second master degree in Pedagogical Sciences. After taking some well-deserved time off to travel the world she has now found a new job position at the NSDSK.


Lucinda Pouw, PhDLPouw2.jpg

Thesis defended 14 January 2014

As a PhD student, Lucinda did research on the social-emotional development of children with an autism spectrum disorder, between 9 and 14 years of age.
She is currently working in consultancy.


Maartje Kouwenberg, PhDMaartje Kouwenberg

Thesis defended 18 April 2012.

Maartje worked as a PhD student in our lab between 2008 and 2012. She focused on the older group of deaf children; 9-14 year olds. Her thesis is entitled 'Social-emotional factors underlying internalizing problems and peer relations in deaf or hard of hearing youth'.  Currently, Maartje works as a research coordinator at Auris.

Annet Hogendoorn, BAannet hogendoorn

Annet was an Honours Bachelor student in our lab in 2011-2012. She helped collecting data and wrote her Bachelor thesis on emotion knowledge in the younger group of children with ASD. She is currently following the master Child and Adolescent Psychology.


Eileen Oberwelland, MScEileen Oberwelland

As a research master student in our lab, Eileen wrote her thesis on empathy and its relation to social functioning in young children with ASD. She is currently a PhD student in the Child Neuropsychology unit of the University Hospital of Aachen, Germany. 


Aurelie Langeaurelie

Aurelie is now a junior researcher at De Viersprong, institute for personality disorders.



Yordi Litjens

Yordi has obtained her MSc in Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Sheida.JPGSheida Novin, PhD

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Thesis defended 16 June 2011

Sheida's thesis, 'Moroccan-Dutch adolescents' emotional functioning: In between two cultures?' is a culmination of 4 years of dedicated research on emotional functioning in mono- and bicultural adolescents. 

Sheida currently holds a position at the University of Michigan, USA. 

Francine C. Jellesma, PhD francine jellesma

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Thesis defended 21 October 2008

Francine's thesis, Somatic complaints in childhood: How they are related to children's social and emotional functioning, was completed after 4 years of research on the emotional development in children. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam, Department of Child Development and Education.