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Child Development Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 909508, 9 pages
Research Article

Comorbidity and Family Factors Associated with Selective Mutism

1Department of Psychology, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02148, USA
2Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA

Received 23 August 2010; Accepted 15 December 2010

Academic Editor: Glenda Andrews

Copyright © 2011 Brian A. Buzzella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent findings suggest that Selective Mutism (SM) is best conceptualized as a childhood anxiety disorder and that oppositional behavior may or may not be a significant part of the clinical picture. Twenty-nine mothers of children with SM and 28 mothers of children who did not meet diagnostic criteria for any Axis I disorder (a community comparison group) completed parental self-report questionnaires and clinician-rated interviews assessing anxiety and oppositional behavior, parental psychopathology, and family factors with hypothesized relationships with childhood anxiety. Findings suggested that children with SM experienced more anxiety than those in the community comparison group, with significantly higher levels of social anxiety, rumination, and physical symptoms reported. Mothers of children with SM reported greater monitoring of their children's activities, but they did not significantly differ from community comparison group mothers on reports of other parenting behaviors. Such findings may have important implications for guiding family involvement in psychosocial interventions.