Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Christopher Kearney

Second Committee Member

Michelle Paul

Third Committee Member

Noelle Lefforge

Fourth Committee Member

Chris Wood

Number of Pages



Selective mutism (SM) is a childhood disorder characterized by a failure to speak in certain situations (e.g., school, social situations; APA, 2013). SM is best assessed using a comprehensive multimodal strategy (Dow et al., 1995; Krysanski, 2003; Viana et al., 2009; Wong, 2010), including parent reports of a child’s behavior. One commonly used parent report measure is the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). The purpose of the present study was to identify specific CBCL items that may help substantiate SM subtypes in children. The study used confirmatory factor analysis to determine whether a two-factor structure (anxious and oppositional behavior) identified in past studies (Diliberto & Kearney, 2016; 2018) fits a new sample of children with SM. The study also examined whether factor scores from past studies (Diliberto & Kearney, 2016; 2018) and the present study predict subscale scores on the Selective Mutism Questionnaire (SMQ; Bergman et al., 2008), a measure of SM symptom severity. CBCL-based profiles may help clinicians quickly and accurately assess for SM subtypes in children. The study results revealed that a modified two-factor structure fit a new sample of children with SM and that the anxious factor score predicted SMQ subscale scores. The study results also revealed that the oppositional factor score did not predict SMQ subscale scores. Additional analyses were conducted to determine whether factor scores predict SMQ subscale scores across gender, age group, and median cutoff scores. Finally, clinical implications and study limitations were explored, and recommendations were made for future research.


Anxiety; Children; Confirmatory factor analysis; Opposition; Regression; Selective mutism



File Format


File Size

5300 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Psychology Commons