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J Paediatr Child Health. 2008 May;44(5):297-301. Epub 2007 Nov 25.

Prevalence and behavioural correlates of enuresis in young children.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak, Turkey.



Previous studies based on clinical samples report that enuresis in children is associated with behavioural problems and reduced self-esteem, but the relationship between behavioural problems and enuresis remains controversial. This population-based study investigated the prevalence and behavioural correlates of enuresis in a group of preparatory school children.


This cross-sectional survey involved 356 parents and their children aged 5-7 years, all residents of Istanbul, Turkey. Parents completed the Child Behaviour Checklist and socio-demographic data form (response rate: 90%). Fifty-three children with enuresis were compared with 303 non-symptomatic children. Differences in the mean scores and the percentages of children falling beyond pre-selected clinical thresholds were compared between the groups.


The prevalence of enuresis was 14.9%, and enuresis was more frequent among boys. Children with enuresis were reported by their parents to have greater social problems and higher total problem scores than control children (P = 0.019, P = 0.048, respectively). However, there were no differences in the percentages of children falling beyond pre-selected clinical thresholds between the groups.


Children with enuresis had higher mean scores for total and social behavioural problems than controls; however, clinically relevant behavioural problems did not show differences between the groups. Given the inconsistent research findings across studies, longitudinal research and outcome studies could help determine whether there is a causal relationship between psychopathology and enuresis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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