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J Pediatr Psychol. 2008 Aug;33(7):739-50. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsn008. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Early childhood risk factors associated with daytime wetting and soiling in school-age children.

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  • 1Department of Community Based Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.



To examine the impact of a range of early childhood factors on the risk for daytime wetting and soiling.


This is a longitudinal study based on a UK population of over 10,000 children from age 4 to 9 years. Parents completed questionnaires on child development (at 18 months); child temperament (24 months); maternal depression/anxiety (21 months), and parenting behaviors (24 months). The analysis examined whether these risk factors distinguish between children with normal development of daytime bladder and bowel control and those with delayed acquisition of daytime continence; persistent daytime wetting/soiling, and relapse in wetting/soiling.


Delayed development, difficult temperament, and maternal depression/anxiety were associated with an increase in the odds of experiencing problems with bladder and bowel control.


The current findings provide evidence that risk factors in early childhood are associated with a subsequent increase in the odds of children experiencing daytime wetting and soiling at school age.

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