• behavioural problem;
  • Child Behaviour Checklist;
  • child;
  • enuresis

Objectives:  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.

Methods:  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.

Results:  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.

Conclusions:  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.