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J Urol. 2004 Jun;171(6 Pt 2):2580-3.

An assessment of internalizing problems in children with enuresis.

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Paediatric Uro/Nephrologic Centre, Ghent University Hospital and Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.



We examine the internalizing problems (anxiety and depression) and self-esteem among 9 to 12-year old children with enuresis to determine whether enuretic children are more in the clinical range, and to study the correlation between child and parent report questionnaires.


A total of 84 children with daytime and/or nighttime wetting were compared to 70 without enuresis using 5 psychometric instruments adjusted for gender and type of enuresis. Differences in mean scores, percentages of children beyond the clinical range, and correlations between child and parent report questionnaires were evaluated.


Parental report revealed more internalizing problems ("withdrawn" and "anxious/ depressive") for children with enuresis compared to controls. A higher percentage of the study group were in the clinical range of the "total problem" scale of the Child Behavior Checklist. Child report inventories yielded no differences between groups. Moderate agreement was found between child and parent report.


There is no evidence of internalizing problems (anxiety/depression) and low self-esteem in the self-report of enuretic children. In contrast parents rate enuretic children as having more internalizing problems. Different explanations for this contradictory data are offered. Further research is necessary to explain why parents report psychological symptoms in children with enuresis.

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