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  1. Patrick C. Friman

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0308

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Friman, P. C. 2010. Encopresis. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Boys Town, NE

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Encopresis is a common, often undertreated, and often overinterpreted form of fecal incontinence. When left untreated, encopresis can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening medical problems and seriously impaired social acceptance, relations, and development. The primary reasons for the medical problems are the possibility of organic disease (some cases have medical causes such as Hirschprung's disease) and the medical risk posed by fecal matter inexorably accumulating in an organ with a limited amount of space. The primary reason for the social impairment is that soiling evokes more revulsion from peers, parents, and important others than other forms of incontinence (and most other behavior problems).


  • incontinence;
  • retentive encopresis;
  • non retentive encopresis;
  • biobehavioral treatment