Skip to content

Year: 2021

Rumination Contributes to Depressive Symptoms in Sensitive Children

In a study following children from 3 to 12 years, we found that the combination of high sensitivity and permissive parenting increases the risk for the development of internalizing symptoms. Sensitive children who experience higher levels of early permissive parenting are more likely to develop ruminative coping strategies and consequently depressive symptoms.

Highly Sensitive Adolescents and COVID-19 Distress

Highly sensitive adolescents tend to report higher levels of COVID-19-related distress. However, our findings suggest that resilience, defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, may play an important role in adolescents’ mental health during a pandemic.

The Highly Active, Highly Sensitive Brain at-Rest

In a recent study, my colleagues and I examined resting-state brain connectivity in relation to sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). We found that the more sensitive individuals showed stronger resting-state brain connectivity indicative of greater memory and higher-order deliberative processing.

Sensitive Children and the Quality of the Early Environment

Our study examined children’s well-being in the presence of childhood adversities and support provided by their families. The role of children’s sensitivity to environmental influences was investigated as a potential moderator of both the positive and negative effect of the environment on children’s development.

When Sensitivity and Culture Collide

Different cultural views on sensitive behaviour can complicate the measurement of innate levels of sensitivity.

To explore this issue further, we tested the Highly Sensitive Person scale in the most culturally diverse setting to date: the rainbow nation of South Africa.

The New-born Brain and Differences in Sensitivity to Parenting

Our study examined whether brain characteristics of the new-born baby contribute to sensitivity to parenting quality in terms of cognitive development.

Research on Sensitivity: Past, Present, and Future

Research on sensitivity has evolved and grown substantially over the last 25 years. In this blog, I describe and summarise the breadth of research on sensitivity from the past (the first 20 years), the present (the last 5 years) and the future (the coming 10 years).

Sensitive Adolescents and the Transition into High School

Does the transition from middle school to high school provide a developmental risk for sensitive adolescents? Our research findings suggest that sensitive adolescents report increased socio-emotional well-being if experiencing positive changes in the school environment.

Seeing is Believing: Sensitivity through Children’s Attention to Emotions

Children’s sensitivity to distress in contexts of interparental conflict is stronger for children who devote more attention to angry and fearful emotions.