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Blum, H.P. (1970). Maternal Psychopathology and Nocturnal Enuresis. Psychoanal Q., 39:609-619.

(1970). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 39:609-619

Maternal Psychopathology and Nocturnal Enuresis

Harold P. Blum, M.D.


Psychological determinants of nocturnal enuresis are many and diverse. This paper focuses on maternal influences.

Analysis of a mother of three enuretic daughters revealed unconscious conflicts over her own intense desires to wet. These conflicts were multidetermined and involved ambivalent childhood relationships with several figures, including her enuretic sister, her stillborn twin brother, and her father and grandfather. She played out her conflicts by having her daughters wet for her. Thus she could enjoy wetting without awareness or apparent responsibility. With the help of her husband she was able to organize a urinary household in which her daughters were stimulated and rewarded for their enuresis. The mother's fostering of her children's enuresis began during their prephallic toilet training and continued beyond the urethral phase into later childhood.

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