Clinical Correlates of Enuresis in ADHD and Non‐ADHD Children

Joseph Biederman, Susan L. Santangelo, Stephen V. Faraone, Kathleen Kiely, Jessica Guite, Eric Mick, Ellen D. Reed, Ilana Kraus, Michael Jellinek, James Perrin

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52 Scopus citations


Abstract Enuresis and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common childhood disorders that often co‐occur. Although each has been linked to neurodevelopmental immaturity and increased risk for psychopathology, the clinical correlates of enuresis remain unclear. Subjects were 140 6–17–year‐old boys with DSM‐III‐R ADHD and 120 non‐ADHD controls. Information on enuresis and psychiatric diagnoses was obtained in a standardized manner blind to the child's clinical status. Our results show that (1) enuresis did not increase the risk for psychopathology in children with or without ADHD; (2) enuresis was not associated with psychosocial adversity or developmental immaturity; (3) enuresis was associated with increased risk for learning disability, impaired intellectual functioning, and impaired school achievement in normal control children but not in children with ADHD; and (4) the same pattern of findings was obtained after stratifying children with enuresis by primary versus secondary and by nocturnal versus diurnal subtypes. These results suggest that the clinical implications of enuresis may differ for ADHD and non‐ADHD children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-877
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • enuresis
  • risk

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