Elimination Disorders: Cultural Factors

The entry focuses on the cultural factors associated with two elimination disorders: (1) encopresis (i.e., involuntary defecation) and (2) enuresis (i.e., involuntary urination). Although encopresis and enuresis are both elimination disorders, they are distinctively different. Therefore, cultural and familial factors associated with both disorders are discussed separately.


There is very little empirical data on cultural factors related to encopresis. Most of the variables related to cultural factors were researched in one study only, which drastically limits the generalizability of the findings.

A study conducted in India found that encopresis is related to early separation from parents (prior to the age of 4 years), not having a toilet, and parents using physical punishment as a disciplinary measure. Religion or religious observance, parental education, social class, poverty score, and ...

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