WWC review of this study

Functional Assessment-Based Intervention for Selective Mutism

Kern, Lee; Starosta, Kristin M.; Bambara, Linda M.; Cook, Clayton R.; Gresham, Frank R. (2007). Behavioral Disorders, v32 n2 p94-108. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ785293

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: December 2016

Meets WWC standards with reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Functional Behavioral Assessment-based Interventions Intervention Report (977 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Northeast, West


For Beatriz, the study took place during math, reading, and science in her special education classroom at an urban public middle school on the east coast. The study with Sean was conducted in his general education classroom in an urban public elementary school on the west coast, during language arts.

Study sample

This study included two children (Beatriz and Sean) with selective mutism. Beatriz also had an emotional/behavioral disorder, and Sean was at risk for an emotional disturbance. Beatriz was 13 years old and in the eighth grade. Sean was 11 years old and in the fourth grade.


Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) procedures for both students included review of records, observations, and interviews of parents, school staff, case workers, and students. The FBA-based interventions for both students consisted of having teachers ask questions in a way that required a verbal response, asking questions that were easy to answer, and notifying the student at the beginning of class how many questions would be asked. As a reward for meeting the day’s predetermined criterion, Sean could receive 5–10 minutes of extra recess time with a buddy. This reward was systematically faded. In addition, as part of an existing classwide reinforcement system, Sean also earned tickets that could be exchanged weekly for a prize from the class mystery box, if he met his daily criterion. Beatriz’s intervention did not include a reward.


This study used a changing criterion design (across outcomes) for both students. During baseline, teachers implemented their regular procedures and did not ask questions that required vocal responses.


Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

back to top