Selective Mutism in Children: Comparison to Youths With and Without Anxiety Disorders
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- Vecchio, J.L. & Kearney, C.A. J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2005) 27: 31. doi:10.1007/s10862-005-3263-1
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Fifteen children with selective mutism (SM), 15 children with anxiety disorders (AD) without selective mutism, and 15 children without anxiety disorders or selective mutism (CN) were compared to examine the relationship between selective mutism and anxiety. Data were collected from children (age 4–10 years), parents, teachers, and clinicians. Results indicated that children with SM closely resemble children with AD. All children with SM received a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder and 53% received a diagnosis for an additional anxiety disorder. In addition, the SM and AD groups differed substantially from controls with respect to parent- and teacher-rated internalizing behavior problems. No differences among the groups were found with respect to parent-and teacher-reported externalizing behavior problems. The results are consistent with prior research emphasizing the association between selective mutism and anxiety disorders, and suggest that selective mutism may be conceptualized, assessed, and treated as an anxiety-related problem.