Social networks

Social networks in deaf and hearing children

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) youth lack of full access to the sound environment causes many disruptions in their social exchanges with their peers. At this age, playgrounds are an important context for children’s social life, allowing them to spontaneously interact and play with their peers. However, playgrounds – which are noisy and chaotic - can also be overwhelming for DHH children, hindering their interactions with peers and their development. In this project we focus on the interconnection between hearing loss, social-emotional development and play behaviors, such that DHH kids can be optimally supported during this crucial developmental stage.

People involved

Psychology, Leiden University - Brenda Sousa da Silva, Carolien Rieffe, Maedeh Nasri, Yung-Ting Tsou, Berna Güroğlu, Hinke M. Endedijk, Adva Eichengreen.

Partners from different clinical settings - Guida Veiga (University of Évora), Johan H.M. Frijns (LUMC), Herédio Sousa MD (Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central), Luísa Monteiro MD (Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa)

Key publications

  • Da Silva, B. M. S., Rieffe, C., Frijns, J. H. M., Sousa, H., Monteiro, L., & Veiga, G. (2022). Being Deaf in Mainstream Schools: The Effect of a Hearing Loss in Children’s Playground Behaviors. Children, 9(7), 1091.


  • Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT 2019 Studentship Grant SFRH/BD/144768/2019) to Brenda M.S. da Silva
  • Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-LDE fellowship to Dr. Adva Eichengreen