Selective mutism : an exploration of school-based interventions and the role of the educational psychologist

Files in This Item:
 File SizeFormat
Download102355691.pdf2.2 MBAdobe PDF
Title: Selective mutism : an exploration of school-based interventions and the role of the educational psychologist
Authors: Molamphy, Niamh
Permanent link:
Date: 2020
Online since: 2022-05-05T11:51:12Z
Abstract: The focus of this thesis is to explore Selective Mutism (SM), which can be a barrier to a pupil’s engagement in the school context, the role of the educational psychologist (EP) and appropriate school-based interventions. This thesis consists of an introduction to the topic, a systematic literature review, an empirical research paper and a discussion of the potential implications of the findings for EPs. The systematic literature review synthesised the literature across fourteen studies describing a school-based intervention to support a pupil presenting with SM. Results identified the potential appropriateness of the school as a setting to support pupils presenting with SM. The systematic literature review further identified positive effects of behaviourally based intervention strategies in the school context, particularly when implemented by those within the pupil’s system where a rapport had been established. The empirical research paper, conducted through a two-phase approach, explored the role of EP in an Irish school-based psychological service to support a school to meaningfully include a pupil with SM, through the lens of ecological systems and consultation theory. A total of 41 EPs completed an online survey and five EPs participated in a semi-structured interview. Results from an online questionnaire and interviews found that, although 98% of EPs stated that they have a role in supporting schools with SM, nearly half of them reported feeling uncertain about the appropriate interventions to implement. Thematic analysis yielded the salient themes of empowerment, building relationships, consultation, flexibility and pupil-centred practice. The results indicate that EPs have a pivotal position in facilitating systemic change for a pupil presenting with SM. Implications of the findings from the systematic literature review and the empirical research paper for EP practice are also discussed.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Education
Qualification Name: D.Ed.Psych.
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Author
Keywords: Selective mutismEducational psychologySchool psychologySchool-based interventions
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Education Theses

Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on May 21, 2022


checked on May 21, 2022

Google ScholarTM


If you are a publisher or author and have copyright concerns for any item, please email and the item will be withdrawn immediately. The author or person responsible for depositing the article will be contacted within one business day.