The book has been written for applied researchers and practitioners in the disciplines of school psychology, speech-language pathology, special education, expressive therapy, family therapy, psychiatry, clinical psychology, pediatric medicine, and social work. Elective mutism is discussed within the important context of silence and gender differences in communication. The elective mutism literature focuses on the characteristics of specific patients but little has been done in systematic theory building. Hadley addresses this issue and argues for a multidimensional theory of elective mutism. The book has five major purposes: (1) to provide a background for the problem of elective mutism by identifying the characteristics of healthy users of silence; (2) to provide a compendium of practical approaches for assessing and treating elective mutism; (3) to suggest etiological models of elective mutism based on the evaluation and synthesis of case study data; (4) to identify recurring themes and major issues in the published literature; and (5) to identify research questions related to the assessment and treatment of elective mutism. A unique feature of the book is the inclusion of an assessment instrument for monitoring and recording information about the behavior of silence users. It can also be used to monitor and record progress during treatment. The book addresses the characteristics of elective mutism, psychosocial factors of silence and communication, psychosocial characteristics of electively mute persons, theories of elective mutism, legal aspects of the silence user role, direct observation of behavior, why-questions beyond direct observation, assessment of electively mute behavior, and unsystematic informal treatments. The treatment section is extensive and includes behavioral interventions such as positive self-modeling and expressive therapies such as play therapy, phototherapy and art therapy.Hadley, Norman H. is the author of 'Elective Mutism A Handbook for Educators, Counsellors and Health Care Professionals', published 1994 under ISBN 9780792324188 and ISBN 0792324188.