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Minerva Psichiatrica 2019 June;60(2):75-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.18.01989-1


language: English

Adverse effects of parental punishments on the well-being of enuretic children and response to therapy

Pietro FERRARA 1, 2 , Federica SANDULLO 2, Giulia FRANCESCHINI 2, Diletta SAITTA 2, Valeria BLASI 3, Antonio CHIARETTI 1

1 Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy; 2 Service of Pediatrics, Campus Bio-Medico University Medical School, Rome, Italy; 3 Unit of Clinical Nutrition, A. Gemelli University Hospital and Institute for Research and Care, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy

BACKGROUND: Nocturnal enuresis (NE) is a common pediatric disorder and causes social and psychological distress for children and their families. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of parental punishment on the well-being of enuretic children and the response to therapy.
METHODS: Four hundred children were enrolled at the Pediatric Service of the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital in Rome and data were collected through medical history and physical examination of children.
RESULTS: Fifty-two enuretic children out of 400 (13%) have suffered from their parents at least one punishment method because of NE. Punishment methods were reprimanding in 37 out of 52 (71.2%), depriving of sleep in 17 of 52 (32.7%), mildly beating in three of 52 (5.8%), leaving the child wet in one of 52 (1.9%), banning on using electronic games in one of 52 (1.9%), and other methods in two of 52 (3.8%). Finally, a partial or full response in terms of reducing the number of wet nights was achieved in 39.9% in the group of punished children and in 58% in children who had not been punished.
CONCLUSIONS: Parental punishment has a negative effect on the health of the enuretic child, and on this the parents should be sensitized. It is up to the pediatrician to provide the children and their families with clear and information about the disorder in order to create a serene environment in which the enuretic child is not uncomfortable and can serenely go to healing.

KEY WORDS: Child; Nocturnal enuresis; Punishment; Parents; Psychological stress

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