Maayan Cohen

Maayan started the developmental track of the Research Master at Leiden University in 2018. During her study, she has also been taking courses from the School Psychology Master. She is currently an intern with Dr. Ed Baines at University College London, doing research on peer interactions and break times at schools. She will do her thesis in our lab with Prof. dr. Carolien Rieffe from December 2019. She is particularly interested in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and will write her master thesis on this subject.

Anouk Won the Best Paper in 2019


June 3rd, 2020

After winning the Best Thesis in the field Otorhinolaryngology, our former PhD researcher Anouk Netten also won the Best Paper prize of 2019 in the same field. Anouk’s paper focuses on the underreporting of missing data and how to tackle those problems with the multiple imputation technique. Click here to read the English version of the paper. Congratulations, Anouk!


Business As Usual

April 14th, 2020

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Despite the coronavirus outbreak, our weekly research meetings continue online. This week the meeting was led by Tirza, who presented on missing data and the benefits of using multiple imputation to minimize biases. 


Autism Awareness Week

March 27th, 2020

entry to school

Although many real-time activities for the World Autism Awareness Week (March 28 to April 5) are now canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, online activities and news continue. Besides awareness, the Autism Awareness Week also aims at increasing understanding and acceptance. Autism is often associated with 'socially inappropriate' behaviors and less motivation for prosocial actions. But is that picture correct? Now all schools are closed. Yet, when schools reopen, what about equal opportunity for autistic children in mainstream education? In this news item , Carolien talks about prosocial behaviors and the need for social contacts in autistic children. And in this blog article, Carolien, Dr. Sarah Giest, and Legal Advisor Pim Deul reflect on school inclusion and the 2014 Dutch Appropriate Education Act for autistic pupils.


Loose parts at the school playground

March 5th, 2020

Loose parts play Feb2020

On March 3rd, Adva, Anne, Laura, Maud and Liam launched a special project to increase playfulness of children at school playgrounds. With the instruction of our project advisor Martin van Rooijen (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht), this project is based on loose-parts play, which aims to provide children with increased opportunities for creative play and positive social interactions. Children showed spontaneous enthusiasm for the loose parts, such as wheels, baskets and wooden boards, as soon as encountering them at the playground.


Recent & Upcoming Events

June 18th 13.00-14.30: Webinar on Sensors

BOLD Cities

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June 12th 11.00-13.00: Master Class on Factor Analysis

Universiteit Leiden

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April 2nd: BNNVARA podcast “Echte Oogappels"


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Neeltje's feature on VHZ magazine and Leidsch Dagblad


Neeltje was recently featured in the local newspaper Leidsch Dagblad and the VHZ online magazine for professionals on her research on children with Developmental Language Disorder and their psychosocial problems. Click here and here to check it out!

Emotion awareness decreases internalizing symptoms in children with Developmental Language Disorder

March 30th, 2020

mental health brain puzzle

Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) often experience more internalizing symptoms, such as social anxiety. However, very little is known about the factors that protect children with DLD from developing such symptoms.

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Neeltje successfully defended her PhD thesis

March 5th, 2020

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On March 4th, Neetje defended her PhD dissertation on emotions and psychosocial development in children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).

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Who are we?

FOE group 2019 crop

Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), Governance, Inter-PSY Groningen, TU Delft Architecture, and University of Twente. 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 on the one hand; and on social inclusion and appreciating diversity on the other hand. Besides typically developing children and adolescents, we are interested in the development of those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, 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.