Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 1829–1836 | Cite as

Psychological correlates of enuresis: a case–control study on an Italian sample

  • Gabrielle CoppolaEmail author
  • Alessandro Costantini
  • Marzia Gaita
  • Daniele Saraulli
Original Article


The psychological correlates of enuresis are receiving growing attention, coherently with a multi-factorial approach to this problem, but to date the empirical findings are still inconsistent and incomplete. The aim of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the socio-affective functioning of enuretic children by exploring four central dimensions: attachment, self-esteem, self-control, and temperament. Twenty-two enuretic children with their mothers were enrolled in the study and matched, based on gender and age, to a control group of continent healthy children. Measures were collected through mothers’ reports and individual administrations to all children. Controlling for socio-demographic variables, we found a significantly lower incidence of secure attachment, lower self-esteem, and higher rates of behavioral problems among the enuretic group, compared with the control group. No differences in the temperamental dimensions were found. These preliminary findings support the view of enuresis as a bio-behavioral problem and, from a practical standpoint, underline the urgency for physicians not to underestimate this disturbance, but, indeed, to treat the problem through medical strategies and to devote attention to the psychological difficulties of these patients.


Enuresis Attachment Self-esteem Behavioral problems Temperament 



The authors express appreciation to Prof. Chiarelli, Prof. Del Gado, Dr Pelliccia, Dr Iossa, and Dr Montaldo for their support in the data collection.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrielle Coppola
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alessandro Costantini
    • 2
  • Marzia Gaita
    • 1
  • Daniele Saraulli
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience and ImagingUniversity “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti, Blocco A di PsicologiaChieti ScaloItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity “A. Moro” of BariBariItaly
  3. 3.CNR Institute of Cell Biology and NeurobiologyRomaItaly

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