Emotional and behavioral functioning in children with bladder exstrophy-epispadias complex: A developmental perspective

Jessica C. Hankinson, Marlo A. Eldridge, Rick Ostrander, Bhavik Shah, Elizabeth K. Reynolds, Carisa Perry-Parrish, Matt W. Specht, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To evaluate the emotional and behavioral functioning of children with bladder exstrophy-epispadias complex (BEEC), taking into account developmental and gender considerations. This study also sought to overcome methodological limitations of previous studies evaluating psychological well-being of children with BEEC. Methods Eighty-six children were consecutively evaluated using the parent report version of the Behavior Assessment System for Children during visits to a multidisciplinary urology clinic. Results Results indicated normative emotional and behavioral functioning across the sample. However, there was a significant effect of age, such that older children consistently had worse internalizing symptoms and adaptive functioning. Males tended to have more externalizing problems as they aged, and also tended to have lower levels of adaptive functioning but this was independent of age. The level of psychological impairment was unrelated to the specific type of BEEC, and was also unrelated to whether or not the patient had undergone continence surgery. Conclusion Children with BEEC have a greater likelihood of experiencing a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems as they reach adolescence. These findings point to the need to prevent potential psychological distress by intervening with these children before they become clinically impaired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Children
  • Emotional and behavioral functioning
  • Urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology

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