Elimination Disorders

  • Stu LawEmail author
  • Mark Malady
  • Tom Buqo
  • Larry Williams


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) separates elimination disorders into enuresis and encopresis. Enuresis is defined as repeated urination into bed or clothing at least twice a week for a period of at least 3 months that is not due directly to a physiological condition or substance and occurs for an individual who is at least 5 years of age (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Encopresis is defined as repeated bowel movements into bed or clothing at least one time per month for a period of at least 3 months, is not due directly to a physiological condition or substance, and occurs for an individual who is at least 4 years of age (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Alternative diagnostic systems include the Rome-III criteria and the International Children’s Continence Society’s classification system (Nevéus et al., 2006; Rasquin et al., 2006). The three systems differ on the minimum age, the various subtypes, and the specific language of the descriptions (for a full review, see von Gontard, 2013). All three systems differentiate between urinary and bowel movement-based incontinence, and translation across the three systems does not exclude research based on one system versus the other. However, some offer more specification on the subtype of elimination disorders.


Nocturnal enuresis Diurnal enuresis Encopresis Evidence-based practice Bladder training Voiding Bowel impaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stu Law
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark Malady
    • 2
  • Tom Buqo
    • 3
  • Larry Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA
  2. 2.Bx PlusRenoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA

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