Parental Experiences of Professional Involvement for Children And Young People with Selective Mutism and Their Preferred Support

Prof Doc Thesis

Ang, F. 2022. Parental Experiences of Professional Involvement for Children And Young People with Selective Mutism and Their Preferred Support. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsAng, F.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Selective Mutism (SM) is a rare childhood disorder that affects the ability to speak in certain social environments, despite having the physical ability to speak. Without appropriate support and intervention, it can persist into adulthood. Despite its potential long-lasting effects, knowledge of the disorder and how to support those with it is limited. Research into SM is mostly quantitative, or case studies focused on the effectiveness of interventions.
This research aimed to explore parental perspectives of professional support for their child with SM, how this support has influenced their experience of SM, and ideal support for the children and families of those with SM. Despite the key role that parents have in their child’s life and recovery from SM, they are currently almost voiceless within the literature. Likewise, the support that professionals provide that is beneficial is unclear.
Eight parents with a child in key stage 3 or 4 with traits of SM took part in semistructured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to qualitatively analyse the data. A first master theme of ‘the parent and SM’ was identified, followed by a superordinate theme of ‘experiences of professional input’, which contains two further master themes of ‘input of professionals’ and ‘the system’. A master theme of ‘impact of professional’s input’ was identified, followed by the final master theme of ‘looking forwards’. Parents reported both supportive and unhelpful input from professionals affected by factors such as the professional’s personality, communication, and knowledge of SM. Parents also identified barriers in the systems around professionals which affected the support they received. They noted the high impact a professional could have on the life of the parent and their child, and expressed hope for more awareness of SM, and an SM pathway. Further research could explore the viability of such a pathway.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online11 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Completed17 Jul 2022
Deposited11 Jan 2023
Permalink -

Download files

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Anyone

  • 242
    total views
  • 223
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 8
    downloads this month

Export as