Pediatricians are increasingly recognized as the providers of choice for children with functional encopresis. The presence of clinically significant behavior problems could interfere with pediatric regimens for encopresis, however. To study the extent to which encopretic children exhibit behavior problems, we compared the scores on a standardized behavioral checklist for three randomly selected samples: a sample group of children with encopresis, a sample group of children with behavior problems, and a sample group of children without encopresis or behavior problems. All thres samples were matched for age and gender. An analysis of variance showed that the scores of children with encopresis did not differ from the normative sample but were significantly lower than the scores from the behavior problem sample (P < .00001). The results support the appropriateness of the trend toward expanding the primary pediatrician's role in the treatment of encopresis.

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