Influences on Facial Emotion Recognition in Deaf Children

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This exploratory research is aimed at studying facial emotion recognition abilities in deaf children and how they relate to linguistic skills and the characteristics of deafness. A total of 166 participants (75 deaf) aged 3–8 years were administered the following tasks: facial emotion recognition, naming vocabulary and cognitive ability. The children's teachers or speech therapists also responded to two questionnaires, one on children's linguistic-communicative skills and the other providing personal information. Results show a delay in deaf children's capacity to recognize some emotions (scared, surprised, and disgusted) but not others (happy, sad, and angry). Notably, they recognized emotions in a similar order to hearing children. Moreover, linguistic skills were found to be related to emotion recognition skills, even when controlling for age. We discuss the importance of facial emotion recognition of language, conversation, some characteristics of deafness, and parents’ educational level ​
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