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Systematic assessment of 50 children with selective mutism.

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  • 1Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To clarify the diagnostic significance of selective mutism (elective mutism in DSM-III-R).

METHOD:

Fifty children with selective mutism were evaluated systematically by means of semistructured clinical interviews and rating scales to obtain detailed diagnostic information.

RESULTS:

All 50 children met DSM-III-R criteria for social phobia or avoidant disorder and 24 (48%) had additional anxiety disorders. Clinical measures of anxiety and behavioral symptoms supported the presence of anxiety disorders as a characteristic of selectivity mute children. Only one case each of oppositional defiant disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was found.

CONCLUSIONS:

Persistent selective mutism typically presents in the context of anxiety disorders.

PMID:
9136500
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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