Although incontinence can be a problem at virtually any age and stage of life, the majority of incontinence occurs in childhood, and therefore, childhood incontinence is the focus of this entry. At the outset, however, it is important to create a few other distinctions. First, there are two general types of incontinence: (1) fecal and (2) urinary. Second, although incontinence is a problem at any age, it is not declared a disorder until it occurs after a certain age, which, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is 4 years for fecal incontinence, otherwise known as encopresis, and 5 years for urinary incontinence, otherwise known as enuresis. Enuresis is further subdivided into diurnal (incontinence during waking hours) and nocturnal (incontinence during sleeping hours). Third, the ...

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