Children are completing toilet training much later than the preceding generation, according to recent studies. So write Drs Nathan Blum, Bruce Taubman and Nicole Nemeth. They have conducted a study to identify factors associated with toilet training.
Using subjects between the ages of 17 and 19 months of age, they enrolled 406 children and their parents into the study.
At the start of the study parents were asked to complete the Patenting Stress Index and the Receptive Expressive Emergent Language Scale.
Every 2 to 3 months, follow-up parent interviews were conducted until daytime toilet training had been completed by their child.
The information the researchers gathered at these follow-up interviews included what steps parents were taking to toilet train their child, their child's toilet training behaviors, the presence and frequency of constipation, the birth of a sibling and child care arrangements.
The researchers found that in a stepwise linear regression model predicting age at completion of toilet training, 3 factors were consistently associated with later training. These were initiation of training at an older age, presence of stool toileting refusal, and presence of frequent constipation.
In fact, models including these variables accounted for 25% to 39% of the variance in age at completion of toilet training.
The researchers therefore conclude that a later age at initiation of toilet training, stool toileting refusal, and constipation, may explain some of the trend toward completion of toilet training at later ages.