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Punishment for bedwetting is associated with child depression and reduced quality of life

Publication: Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 43, May 2015, Pages 22-29

PII: S0145-2134(14)00377-9

DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.11.007

This study assessed the relationship between parental punishment and depression as well as quality of life in children with primary monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (PMNE). A consecutive sample of 65 children (7–13 years) with PMNE and 40 healthy children, selected as controls (Group III), were included in the study. The children with PMNE were further sub-classified into two groups: Group I, which included children who received parental punishment for enuresis and Group II, which comprised children who were not punished for bedwetting. Depression and health-related quality of life (HRQL) were assessed among the three groups. The number of wet nights per week was significantly increased in Group I compared with Group II (P < .001). In addition, the severity of depressive symptoms increased in Group I as compared to the other two groups (P < .001). Similarly, the psychosocial HRQL lower in Group compared to the control group (Group III) (P < .001). Prior parental discipline, including corporal punishment (B = 0.55, P = .008), as well as the frequency (B = 0.73, P < .001) and duration of punishment (B = 0.33, P = .02) were strong predictors of increased depressive symptom severity. It was also found that prior punishment (B = −0.42, P = .01) and the frequency (B = −0.62, P < .001) and duration of punishment (B = −0.34, P = .02) were strong predictors for poor psychosocial HRQL. Overall, parental punishment has a poor outcome in children with PMNE.